Ken’s Pub, When My Father Was Alive

[After Ed Galing] 

The pickles lured us in, floating like an experiment 

in avoiding temptation. But the pastrami’s black edges

sealed the deal for me–my mouth already sizzling

from the peppercorn crackles as my father smiled,

winking at the man I always called Ken, a nice man

with a pencil behind his ear in case a policeman needed

two sandwiches, his partner keeping the engine running

outside, outside where it seemed sunnier now that Daddy

and I had white butcher paper full of marbley bread,

jagged, fatty meat, and triangles of pickle.  Strange sun,

we only went for sandwiches when it poured.  

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