Americana II | November 9, 1965

Michael Mackin O’Mara works for a nonprofit in West Palm Beach,  Florida. He is the managing editor of the South Florida Poetry Journal concentrating on audio and video submissions. He has been published by Chantwood Magazine, Door is a Jar, Fields Magazine, Slag Review, Switched-on Gutenberg, Silver Birch Press and Indolent Books. His hobbies include photography, videography, and graphic arts.

Americana II
November 9, 1965

In five years my specialties will be the mile and the half
no surprise since half is the one-way measure from our house
to the bakery and Kucks Delicatessen

a singsong shopping list sets the pace:
a loaf of pumpernickel
a loaf of seedless rye
half a pound of boiled ham
& half a pound of baloney

into my canvas knapsack
white butcher papered cold cuts
slipped beneath the warm freshly sliced bread.

Like factory stack lights, the neon deli window
flickers as I step to the boulevard
the huge “K” buzzing, bursts
like the all-seeing eyes of the startled dead
into pulses of light running the looped neon track
fuse burning, last labored heartbeats

and are sudden dark,
as are all the street, apartment, and traffic lights
and storefronts spilling patrons
only the boulevard fender-bended headlights
and the cloud-wrapped frost moon behind us shine

“It’s the Ruskies,” swears Mr. K at my side and ignoring our training
we both survey the horizon for flash, and mushroom clouds,
“they’ve got subs in the Sound,
East River, and Chesapeake Bay too!” he hisses.

“I gotta go,” I excuse, “my mom said be home ’fore six.”
He dismisses me with a wave of hand and continues to divine
the portents of the evening sky

“Duck and Cover”
“Duck and Cover”
sets the pace home

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