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Unfortunate Son
9

I need a new outdoor BBQ.
 1
I've been using the same hunk of crap since the late 70's
 2
and it's finally gone to shit.
 3
I grab the cleanest dirty shirt from a heap of clothes on the floor
 4
and walk the three blocks to the Salvation Army.
 5
 
 
I find one in the back for three bucks and drag it up to the front,
 6
trailing soot and ash and obnoxious scraping noises behind me.
 7
Doug rings me up.
 8
Doug is mentally challenged,
 9
cigarette stains yellow his fingers, mustache
 10
and all his big teeth up front.
 11
One of his eyes is always looking to the left
 12
and appears to be in an all out war against personal hygiene.
 13
He and I get along well.
 14
 
 
His co-employees call him retard, shit-for-brains,
 15
and tell him to shut the fuck up on a regular basis
 16
because, according to them, he talks too much.
 17
And like most people who talk a lot, he's usually  ignored.
 18
I'd really like to beat the shit out of every one of them.
 19
And by some miracle Doug is too stupid
 20
or too wise to notice any of it.
 21
 
 
I hand Doug the money.
 22
He says that as a kid he and his dad
 23
used to barbecue almost every summer.
 24
He asks if I have a dad.
 25
I tell him my father died in Vietnam in 1969.
 26
Doug hands me the receipt and looks at me,
 27
tears forming in both eyes.
 28
I roll the BBQ out of the store into a jungle-like heat,
 29
whistling Fortunate Son all the way home.
 30

17 Jul 13

Rated 9 (9) by 2 users.
Active (2):
Inactive (0): 8, 10

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Comments:

Saint Doug.
 — unknown

"Приобретать мирный дух, и тысячи вокруг вас будут сохранены."
 — unknown

the problem with 'retards' is that the major default temptation is to assume there is no evil residing in them or to assume they are less likely to be evil. like children their intents are less likely to be assumed to be premeditated.

when they do commit evil acts, though, all stereotypes break loose.

doug
 — unknown

Over sentimental as though silence had such a meaning. In normal situations  silence is embarrassment or something that cannot be understood. You have completely re written reality for self serving  saccharin
 — unknown

your poem is gripping and chilling--first impression. But is there a message here? I was trying to think of some famous Douglas's, but your poem did not provide satisfactorily the clues I had in mind. Anyway, interesting poem.
 — OL

The last thing I want to covey is sentimentality and a taste of saccharin.
But damn it, I think you're right.
I'm going to work on the right sentiment, without the sentimentality.
So hard to do!
Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.
 — 9

great poem.

9, i left a message for you the other day on a poem here but it got buried.
i put a new picture to the nine mystic minds poem on my facebook poetry page.
i think you will really like it, so you should check it out when you get the chance. you may have to scroll down to find it, but it's not that far down. :)
 — mandolyn

^ oh wait- it's not the nine mystic minds poem. it's the other one, i changed the title to "vital flame"
 — mandolyn

"your vital flame"
 — mandolyn

Oh okay, I'll look for it :)
 — 9

I fixed it somewhat. It was poorly written, overly sentimental, shite.
(God I almost can't help the sentimental part :) and misrepresentative of the mentally challenged - probably still is.
 — 9

i love 12-13
i like the changes, but i didn't think it was crap before.
great ending too.
 — mandolyn

tyty
 — 9

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