Closing Shift at the Liquor Store

by Adam Valentine

A man was complaining
to the manager about another
man cussing in front
of his kids.  One fellow kept
saying this other guy looked
familiar.  Finally, someone
said this other guy was a jailer,
and nobody said anything
else about that out loud.
The boss came in and asked
me was the store busy.  I told
him yeah we’ve sold a lot
of beer.  He said he would
rather sell liquor and wine,
and I didn’t know: was
I supposed to apologize?
One night I scraped ice off
the new girl’s windshield
and pretty soon she sent
me to Wendy’s with a few
dollars and said she trusted
me to pick something out.
I brought back burgers
and put on a CD, and the boss
said I could listen to it
at home.  Somebody bought
a six-pack of O’Doul’s,
and I said I don’t understand
non-alcoholic beer, and the new
girl said it takes a while.