Mindy A. Beers

Hold the Onion

On task of purchasing a sandwich,
I find I've propositioned
The deli man on one of his off
Days--he slices my meat upside-down
And forgets to hold my onion,
The resulting string of swears fluttering
From his lips a virtual origami swan
Of profanity, elegant in rhythm,
After what must have been
Years of arduous practice, yet

Defying practice, his stubby fingers
Slip, sending my Swiss
To the dirty floor with a slop,
The drop delivering to my ears an apology
So muddled it was a flagellation of words,
His lips stubborn to form them,
Like a three-year-old eye-rubbing
To fight off the unwanted nap.

But never again
Will I taste a better sandwich.

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