Nickels, Dimes, & Toodleloo

Joe Gyp was inside tallying
the final enumerations,

balancing his profits
against the children's pilferage.

I sat on the curbstone across
the street, otiose, watching

as the work hands removed the neons:
the five, the one, and the trailing zero.

They slipped the thick hemp rope
through the nil of naught's eye,

secured it with a clove hitch,
and lowered it onto the flatbed.

No one realized the time passing
as the men hauled away those signs -

I turned towards adulthood, and Joe
closed the doors on the Five and Dime.

- The Fool