ILLINOIS CENTRAL REPARTEE
As he stood paper cup in hand by the drinking fountain on a train
somewhere south of Kankakee, miles from Chicago,
a quiet, pensive, older man was getting harangued by a loudmouthed,
blowsy, beer drinking, inconsiderate, disheveled and overweight woman.
Aka, his wife.
She finally shut her mouth after he exploded with,
“get your face out of mine, yo breath smells like
you been eatin camel dookey for a week!”
The laughter from the old men in the club car was deafening,
so she just sat down and cried all the way to New Orleans.
This narrative for the comma contest is a childhood memory I observed riding the Illinois Central’s “City of New Orleans.” Circa 1955.