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