Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, June 2, 2013


by Tom Hatch

At the age of 18 I was working at a wielding shop
in a Texas town the foreman sent me out
to buy 16 sheets of  ¾” CDX plywood
and pick up some welding shunts from
Graybar Electrical Supply off main
down a dusty road the sound of gravel
popping under tires after which
I picked up the ply loaded the sheets
flat in the bed of the company
signature light blue pickup truck
driving back out on to main
stopping at the red signal
turning green gunning it
bumping over the old trolley tracks
all 18 pieces of plywood
shuffled off the truck bed
like a giant mortifying card trick
in the middle of Belknap and Main
a bustling intersection a few honking horns
a man stopped to help me
reload the plywood on the truck
James from Graybar was embroidered
on his shirt above his left breast pocket
he went to his truck for rope and tied down
the load so this would not happen again

The foreman said, “What took you so long”
as I sat down taking a bite of my
peanut butter and lettuce sandwich
“the moist lettuce keeps the peanut butter
from sticking to the roof of my mouth”
I said


  1. really like "like a giant mortifying card trick"