Last Stop For A Traveling Salesman

Not looking so good, Joe.
A little weathered
around the edges,
and that collar wrinkled;
that hat’s a little big
now isn’t it, and those shoes
a size too small, and grimy – whew,
Joe, did you wash and shave;
and my-oh-my your eyes, Joe,
one’s larger than the other now,
what happened Joe, they put you
out to pasture; now, I know, Joe
we’ve been friends a long time,
and, yes, I owe you,
but Joe let me tell you
the economy
here in Podunk, USA
ain’t what it used
to be, no sir’ee, Joe; you know
Joe, let me buy you a cup of coffee,
maybe a donut for old time’s sake;
oh, you need to go,
oh, ok, I understand; now, Joe,
you don’t need to be like that, I mean
we’ve been friends so long
and all: what; buy nothing;
but Joe I tried to tell you
these things just happen,
no fault of yours or mine,
just this heat wave, the money;
now Joe no need to get all riled,
I’ll have to throw you out,
well in that case… oh Joe,
why’d you go and hit me?

Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

Note: I remember when traveling salesmen with their sample bags were a mainstay of small town American and the smaller mom and pop shops across the country. Of course in the late seventies that era closed down with all the larger convenience stores forcing the mom and pop stores out of business, and with them the need for these lonely road travelers and their wares… just another victim of our market economy and its relentless drive to oust the human from its own market. And of course what’s missing in the poem is Joe’s voice which being left out tells everything.

3 thoughts on “Last Stop For A Traveling Salesman

  1. These days, no one would let a traveling salesman in the door. The wealth of true-crime programs has blanketed us with fear of Everyone.


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