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The Empty Seat

by Thomas F. Wylie

Red Star Express notice to all drivers
NO passengers allowed in company trucks

There is grease on the back of your knuckles
the color of the huge steering wheel

deep black like the spots
on back of your right hand
that held decades of Lucky Strikes

Did you get permission to take me
because it was only a hook-up
cab to tandem trailers?

Your stained fingers are the color of muted yellow
like the yellow spade in the shed at home

Your face pitted and pock-marked from acne
as if carved from a moonscape.

My friends feared your face
and teased me

Why is your dad’s face like an ugly Man in the Moon?

I stuttered

He had a hard life

and let out a fart that
sent us to giggles

And now I sit in your discarded car
and observe your empty seat

I smell your presence
feel your absence
and see

your hands on the steering wheel

Copyright © 2014 by Thomas F. Wylie

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