Mini Mart

All he said was,
"You need coffee?"
and I knew that he was good
and that we would
be fast friends-
brothers-
were I to stick around.

Perhaps every traveller
who caught his open sign
at three in the morning
felt the same about him.
Any live being
you meet at that hour
is your friend by default-
if he has coffee.

I've had warm feelings
in mini-marts before.
Convenience store clerks
are a gentle race-
in contrast
to the junk they sell.

But this man, I think,
was an angel
sent to the Highway 2 Mini Mart
for some disguised, important reason-
brewing coffee, mopping the floor
and listening for a signal.
But I couldn't stay
to find out anything more.

Franco Bertucci


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