40 on Black

I used to swing a hammer
for an old man who
brought his dog to the site.
he’d tie him up all day,
the poor pooch,
just sitting there smiling
as we worked in the
burning sun,
on the roof where I could
taste the stale beer
on my tired, ugly breath.

but the kept dog smiling.

the old man paid us Fridays.
some of us came back Monday
asking for an advance.

“what happened to your cash?”
the old man would ask.

“what do you think old man?
forty on black got me again.”

the old man’s gaze would lower
to the dirty clefts of my shrunken
but he never scoffed,
and he never yelled,
just swung his hammer
like the rest of us:
no booze
no whores
no drugs
no Jesus.
just an old Black pickup
and us bastards swinging
our hammers,
waiting for the moon,

so the dog can keep smiling.

**debut book out in just a few days: Kindle available now!

**this poem was originally published in Painted Cave Student Journal Santa Barbara

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s