Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, October 31, 2013


by Robert E. Petras

Cherry bombs were what me and the boys wanted,
 their scarlet explosions, the danger,
the fun fun fun.
Took us a day’s bicycle ride
on a country lane
to a reclusive country store, but
all we got for our paperboy money
was candy and soda pop
and wading in a creek
at a hole called Coulter’s Rock.

As we coasted our bikes
back onto the road
a car screeched around the bend
a door flung open flinging a baby
into the weeds,


The driver swooped over that kid
and snatched him into the crook of his arm
Drove off.

All I remember of the guy
was his nose and face were all red
and the lit cigarette protruding
from his mouth like a wick
and that he was lugging that kid
like a loaf of bread,
not the way, my coach coached me,
to carry a football as I banged my way
through the line of scrimmage,
keeping my head up, always.

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