Dogs 2012

TRADE SHOW
(9/7/12)


trapped
in a 10x10
curtained
and draped
booth
I watched
the event participants
parade
slowly by
in search
of freebies

we had
nothing
to offer
but information

no hats

no pens

no t-shirts

no flashlights

no can openers

all
that we had
on display
was a demo
literature
and
my plastered
smile

I would add
a half hearted
"good morning"
when the mood
and energy
struck

it struck
infrequently

the concrete
of the expo
center floor
was weight
beneath
my feet
pulling
me
down
away
from the light

I tried

I really
did

my major
function
was to allow
my ailing
boss
to operate
or rest
at will
while I
watched
the store

definitely
not
my element

much
too many
people for my
liking

at about
3pm
all hope loss
for rescue
I saw him

homeless
or next
to it
his long
graying
stringy
hair
fell like
dirty yarn
from beneath
a brand new
ball cap
with an
exhibitor logo

hanging
from him
almost covering
his filthy clothing
was an mismatched
assortment
of souvenirs

three different
canvas bags
of bright colors
all stuffed
to overflowing
with advertising
trinkets

he steadied
himself
with a dayglow
lime
yardstick
like a Sherpa
navigating
a mountain
pass

I wondered
how either
of us
had come
to be there

he stopped
in front
of my cell
and perused
the handouts
and samples
of past printed
directories
distractedly
watching
the presentation
projected
on the whiteboard
behind
me

his stale
odor
overwhelmed
my nasal
sensibilities

"an online
product now
I assume?"

he asked

surprised
at the question
I stammered
my stock
sales pitch

"interesting

and how
do you obtain
the information?"

again
a canned
answer
leapt
to my lips

"seems
a tough
dollar"

he hinted
with a semi
toothless
grin

he was
right

we'd never
get rich
at this business
and had
to struggle
every day
for every
sale

"well
good luck
in your
endeavors"

he proffered
in parting
surprisingly sliding
a price sheet
from our
table

they were
raffling off
binoculars
in the next
booth
and he proceeded
to register

I had
a funny
feeling
that he'd
probably
win