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Wayne F. Burke
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Pearl Diver

by Wayne F. Burke

 

washing dishes at the Olympia Diner

across the street from the

college I live at, and

where I sometimes go to classes;

high on black beauties, Friday nights

after the bars closed,

lugging buckets of dishes from

front to back, the owner

John Papalopalopalopalopalus

calls me “lazy American” because

I do not sweep deep enough underneath the

counters. . . . His nephew, the “head” dishwasher,

tries to boss me around; the little prick

can do no wrong in his Uncle’s eyes: take hour-long

breaks, make wise-guy remarks. . . . One Saturday morning

the cigarette machine is found empty of cigarettes and

coins, and the cops arrest the nephew but

the Uncle will not prosecute or even fire the

kid, because

I guess,

blood is thicker than dishwater.

 

Wayne F. Burke's poetry has appeared in a wide variety of publications online, and in print. He has published six full-length poetry collections, most recently DIFLUCAN (BareBack Press, 2019). He lives in the Green Mountain State, aka Vermont (USA).

In Association with Fossil Publications