Poems and Poetry

human

My Credit Adjustor Nightmare | A Poem by Roy Pullam

He cupped his hands
Around the flames
of a kitchen match
Large, hairy knuckles
With a Bic tattoo
Spelling love
On one hand
And hate
On the other
The fraternal love
An orphan emotion
If his reputation
Was to be believed
Prison time
Numerous scrapes
With neighbors
The hardness
Of his face
Lies about his age
He has not worn well
With nicotine-coated, sausage fingers
And yellow teeth
His hands
Blocking his face
Assuring the flame
Allowing the unfiltered cigarettes
To burn
I sniff the tobacco
As he blows a stream
Into my face
The mixture of sulfur
From the match
And burning leaf
Creates a cloud
Floating across
His broken teeth
The cigarette burns down
As the light grows
Gray swirls
Circle my face
Like dirty cotton
The smoke is extended
Thinner still
Until it disappears
The remnant
Of a Budweiser
Sits beside an empty
His primitive ash tray
Ours is not a conversation
Just the bones of words
That transmits
Basic information
He does not have the payment
He is threatened
By my attitude
I dare not
Push the issue
There is a coldness
In this man
He promises
To have the payment
By the end
Of the week
I take his promise
Chewing on a sandwich
Of frustration and fear