Barely standing, he pushes people over
with harsh words soaked in a menacing tone
that occasionally trembles when a bit of phlegm
catches in his throat.

You better believe in Jesus when he corners you,
or be ready to.

You better be ready to give him your full attention,
or his feeble voice will boom, and his face will redden
as it moves closer to yours.

Each morning his wife drops him off at the library,
and when she fails to pick him up at the end of the day,
he is suddenly shy as he asks for the phone so he can call her
and beg to be remembered.

Hannah Jane Weber’s poetry has been published in I-70 Review, Kansas City Voices, Oasis, The Poeming Pigeon, The Seattle Star, and Wrath-Bearing Tree. She is also a recipient of the Dylan Thomas American Poet Prize. Hannah Jane is a children’s librarian and tennis enthusiast. She lives with her husband and their golden retrievers.

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