At the Closing of the Shop

By Tom Probasco

 

I swept the floor

and washed the windows,

emptied the ashtrays,

and shined shoes.

 

I filled the pop machine

and sorted the bottles,

put soap in the lather dispenser,

and shined shoes.

 

I straightened the magazines

and counted my change,

pulled the blind at six o’clock,

and shined shoes.

 

And for years before that,

and for years after,

he stood behind a special chair,

and cut,

 

and cut,

and cut,

and cut,

and cut hair.

 

Now, in twelve days,

he’ll walk out,

into whatever weather has arrived that day,

and never come back.

 

Tom Probasco has been a librarian at Central Library in downtown Indianapolis for over twenty years and published poems in a couple early Indiana Writers Center publications, Inprint and one of the Indiannual volumes.  When he thinks of work, his years as a shoeshine boy in his father’s barbershop in Xenia, Ohio and stacking hay bales on wagons for the farmers that were his neighbors outside of town stand out as the real thing from a long time ago, and time just seems weirder all the time. He’s also a volunteer for Citizens Climate Lobby which exists to promote a national policy called Carbon Fee & Dividend to put a price on carbon emissions.
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Author: authorbios

The literary journal dedicated only to author bios.

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