Anthony Dirk Ray

Never Getting to Pensacola

I left work one evening
and stopped to get gas.
while I was pumping gas,
I observed a man wearing
a fedora, leather jacket,
and pajama pants trying to
get a ride by hitchhiking.
I saw what looked like a
puppy on his shoulder.
then I noticed the red cone,
beak, and feathers.

I thought, this fucker
will never get a ride
with a goddamned live
chicken on his shoulder.
I lost sight of him

and walked inside to
buy an espresso beverage.
upon exiting,
I heard a voice say,
“hey my man, can I
put gas in your truck?
I’m trying to get close
to Pensacola.”
I’m sure he noticed the 5
on my tag denoting that
I lived across the bay
in that general direction.
I looked at the man.
I looked up at his chicken,
then back at him and said,
“I’m sorry, I’m not going that way.”
I got in my truck
and went that way.

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