Broken Spines (A Street Poem)

Rumours were flying all around
Someone was moving in
They question at the table was
Just how long has it truly been?

Windows boarded, papered over
Not a good sign most times
But, there in the shop window
Coming soon “Broken Spines”

The street folks all were questioned
By other street folks who
knew nothing of the tenant
On the whole, nobody knew

The Bluesman worked the alleys
finding out just what he could
But, in the end, he came up empty
And here, empty was not good

The building had been vacant now
For at least ten years plus four
It was at least the old millenium
Since someone used that door

The building was a shoe store
Selling discount boots and shoes
A new tenant or an owner
Gave the street some cherished news

The bartender told the others
She tried to see in on her way
But, the window was well covered
That was all she had to say

No one knew the agent who
Brokered the deal at all
They were surprised someone was coming
Most new stores went to the mall

Cy, the Pawnbroker ventured
It must be a medics shop
No one understood the name
And the questions wouldn’t stop

A young woman in the corner
ordered her breakfast and sat back
she listened closely to the council
and followed them on their mind track

She had coffee from Gianni
He served it up himself
Joe had cooked her breakfast
“Two eggs, bacon, and a shelf”

The Bluesman coughed and ventured
We’ll know all we need to know in time
I’m off to have some med-cin
and rest my weary spine

The others laughed at his words
Saw him off and watched him go
He went back out to his alley
Away from where the wind did blow

The Captain followed closely
He was heading to the bar
The others closed the meeting
before he ever got too far

The woman in the corner
Paid her bill, and left a tip
She left ten dollars on the table
With a yellow paper slip

She also left beside it
A small card of olive green
She was gone and on her way
Before the little card was seen

Gianni, read it , looked around
There was now nobody there
So he read it to himself and smiled
No use, just reading to the air

It said “Catherine A. ”
Seller of used books
Owner of Broken Spines
Books in need of second looks

Gianni didn’t know the name
But the store just fit the street
Everyone here was damaged, flawed
Second hand….to be discreet

There has to be a story
To go with our young Catherine A
I guess we’ll find out more
On the street….another day

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