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What all filling stations 
dream of becoming:

Ode to the
PortLand Malt Shoppe

the girl said "1921" with conviction
informing moms and their toddlers,
sleepy teens, wayfaring early migrants,
of this ancient guilty pleasure's age

"enticing" or "enchanting" capture more
than simple savory delights or cool rewards
for a long drive north, a day's travails,
or a winter's worth of unthawed patience

neither rainbow flavors on two small boards,
nor beachy green and white striped eyelids
can upstage the tawny concrete embrace
of a seasoned, humble, friendly red brick heart

its siren call used to draw me ceaselessly,
my idiosyncratic order known within;
in recent years, a reverent wait enhances
just three stops:  early, middle and one late

no more fossil fuel, no more a fossil -
its eyes invite our easy daily pilgrimage;
deep into these warming nights we're called:
a languid neon summer metaphor:  "Open"

Phil Fitzpatrick
Duluth, MN

 

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