Today's poem is by Cheryl Dumesnil

Bernal Heights

Knit cap rolled down to eyebrows, corduroys
slouched below hip bones, the boy leaned into
Good Life Grocery's door, yelled to the butcher,
Yo—cops took us fishing. Lookit here—
his fingers threaded the salmon's gills, an arc of silver
lifted in the air. Sell it to ya, twenty bucks.
The butcher shook a grin onto his face, said,
Way to go, Jackpot, a name that stuck for life.
And they laughed like water, like last night's
take of nickels falling in the slot machine's mouth,
and jackpot nudged out the doorway, strutting
up the street, his image flashing in storefront windows,
that fish swinging from his hand, like a comet
fallen to earth, a song of luck, of winning.

Copyright © 2009 Cheryl Dumesnil All rights reserved
from In Praise of Falling
Noemi Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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