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Lester, Pennsylvania

Kevin Brady

This is a town of airport shuttle parking lots and body shops
crumbling red brick ranches, dirt driveways, adult bookstores
and little white churches nestled warmly between gas stations
where they still might remember your name
and exit ramps to the interstate.
A town where everyone wears smudges of motor oil on their faces --
mechanic's elbow deep in seized motors,
the cashiers at the convenience stores,
moms with strollers, babies in strollers,
kids on skateboards
in sort of an out of whack, demented, industrial revolutionized
perpetual smokestack Ash Wednesday.
It's a town where the bent old men who used to put in 12 hour days and nights
at the old closed down Philly navy yard
spend their pension checks at Lou Turk's,
a go-go bar directly on the flight path south and out of Philadelphia towards the greener
southern pastures of the confederacy.
In other days, older days,
my older days of different jobs and different facades and different frames of mind
i might have joined them
to watch the sagging shakers navigate
the rumbling 747 flyover rattled stage
and the groping afternoon drunks with their wrinkled laundered dollar bills
and wallet shots
of the grandchildren
who don't live around here

About the Author (click here) © 1998 Kevin Brady, all rights reserved
 appears here by permission

Author Notes

           I was sitting at a traffic light. It was the evening rush hour and I was waiting to get to McDonald's to order some heartburn. This came into my head and I sat there, until someone starting honking their horn (quite violently) and making all kinds of interesting hand gestures (I plan on using some of them myself in the near future). I pulled over, got away from my potential collision with road rage and wrote this (sloppily) on the back of a gasoline charge slip.

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