the Flea Market at the Veteran's Center

Written by: ahellas Alixopulos

Long before dawn
we find
the most incredible
silent energy.
A line of cars
and trailers
packed with
questionable treasures
waiting for their
booth assignments.
In the field,
in the light of headlights
hushed merchants
set up their tents
and tables startled
only by an occasional 
tent pole striking
the pavement.
Some, self satisfied,
have been set up for hours,
these are the "professionals",
who calmly wait for the start.
Various degrees of chaos 
marked the rest
as they try to decide
how to best present their
once prized,
nostalgia wrapped,
discarded, rejected,
hopefully priced right,
In the half light
a question permeates the air.
It is a question that goes back in time
before mini-vans and pick-ups
to push carts and horse carts
and before.
Will I make enough to cover
the booth fee?
Will I sell enough to cover
the check I wrote to pay
the booth fee?
Will I make enough to pay
rent, feed my children?
What will I do if this doesn't