Today's poem is by Sid Miller

Coos Bay

The paint in the back alley spells out,
Your Wonderful Happy Place
and inside the front door, the new man in charge,
tools in hand, works on the popcorn maker.

After a spiel Jack gets the run of the theater
and finds eight vaudeville stages.
It's dark and they're too closely pressed together
to tell what the scenes depict.

But he only cares about one-the desert,
with a stable and orange-purple sunset—
where his favorite character, the cowboy
who talks only of things that glow,
        like stars
        like limestone shining in moonlight
        like embers of dying campfires
is frightened by women's eyes and can't strut like he means it.

Off to the side, a mighty Wurlitzer, the last one around
for hundreds of miles,
is covered with fingerprints, dust, and drop cloths.
Jack imagines playing this one-man band, pumping his feet
and striking the keys out of sight,
in the middle of everything.

Copyright © 2009 Sid Miller All rights reserved
from Dot-to-Dot, Oregon
Ooligan Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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