Sunday, February 10, 2008

End of the Line (From a Dream) by Albert Huffstickler

I was walking home.
I saw a restaurant right across the street
from the house where I lived.
It had not been there before.
I thought how nice it was to have
a coffee place right across the street.
I went in to check it out.
It was almost full.
Suddenly I didn't have any clothes on.
I walked over to a booth and sat down
to think this over.
A waitress came up.
"I guess I'd better go get some clothes on," I said.
"I guess you'd better," she sniffed.
I went out and crossed the street
to the house I shared with a couple.
They were eating and talking about
their plans to leave for Europe.
"When are you going?" I asked.
"At the end of the week," the woman said. "Friday."
"I guess this scene is ending," I said.
They agreed that it was ending.
"What will you do?" the woman asked.
"I don't know," I said. "I'll have to think about it."
Suddenly I was on a city bus with Louise.
I was feeling very much adrift, dislocated.
"Why don't you go back to school?" Louise suggested.
"I don't want to go back to school," I said.
"I hate school. You're the one who likes school."
"I don't particularly like school," Louise protested.
I didn't know what to do.
I knew the scene was ending here
and I didn't want to hang around.
My whole life was up for grabs again.
I was going to have to make another new start.
It was like everything I'd been had been cancelled
and I was going to have to decide
not only where I was going
but who I was all over again.

Editor's note: This poem originally appeared in the second issue of Yellow Bat Review, a small magazine I edited from 2002 to 2004. I posted it here without getting the poet's permission first because sadly Albert Huffstickler is dead. But something tells me he wouldn't have minded. To learn more about Albert Huffstickler, go here.

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