Sixteen, doing buggies at the Shop-n-Save

by | Issue #1, Issues

gaze beyond the bridges
as the early evening sun
dips into the tail
of the Ohio river 
two cloud-making smoke stacks
puff away
a rippled reflection of it all
in the iridescent flow

smell of fried fish
wafts up
from the fast-food joint
across the parking lot
mixes in
with the sweet gasoline 
of exhaust fumes   
rumbling out of tail pipes 

rattle of the cart wheels
across scattered gravel
drowns out voices

oil drips make
pavement-puddle rainbows
after cars pull out   

crickets and frogs
hide the highway noise
once the sun disappears

we chase the runaways 
laugh as they pick up speed
ride them
when the bosses aren’t looking

Ma’am, I’ll take that.

Jason Melvin is a father, husband, grandfather, high school soccer coach, and metals processing center supervisor, who lives just outside of Pittsburgh.