Feed Store Clerk’s Tattoo
He loads my order with a dancer’s pliant ease,
half twirl with each of six 50 pound bags,
and I see a tattoo under the lift of his shirt,
a double helix twined in rainbow colors
that can’t play well here in a small town’s
solidified judgment. He sees me seeing,
says at summer’s end he’s got a gig,
going west with a troupe backing up
a singer whose name I should know.
The mother in me can’t help but hug him,
my pale arm soft against
the muscle he’s using to get out.
—Laura Grace Weldon