At Wendy’s Near an Interstate

He sits slumped over with a Where’s Waldo scarf

Slowly sucking down salty Wendy’s fries.

Slowly drooping over like an overladen branch

Slowly shutting down his eyes like a sun eclipsed.

His limp wrist dangles his five purple thumbs

Suspended by an elbow planted firmly on the table.

By that planted elbow a notepad sits with some ink.

The booth is overflowing with his girth, with his mass. 

“Is he breathing?” question the people as they pass.

I return to that notepad, which somber makes me think

A suicide note, or manifesto of a dream gone down the sink,

Or it could be a wish that’s at last been fulfilled.

Is that body breathing? Has he been killed?

His alarm beeps every five, for some meds or is it work?

He doesn’t stir or answer, but his fingers twitch and jerk.

It could be diabetes, a seizure, or a stroke.

Perhaps Lazarus is sleeping, the normal weary folk.

I creep to observe, as the alarm goes off again.

And sure enough he’s breathing, his life goes on and then,

My thought return to that notepad. Alack! What does it say?

Perhaps he’s dying very slowly, and the notepad points the way

To save him from this process of very slow decay.

Closer yet I get and entitled on the page.

3/15/21 it reads, a journal entry of a sage!

Do I dare read on, this man’s soul which laid bare?

I dare not, I dare not, for fear of what lies there.

I get my Wendy’s order. And awake the sleeping man.

“We thought it was a heart attack.”

He wakes, “Long week. Pretty sucky.

“No, not a heart attack – I’m not that lucky.”

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