Get Your Premium Membership


Progress by Michael R. Burch There is no sense of urgency at the local Burger King. Birds and squirrels squabble outside for the last scraps of autumn: remnants of buns, goopy pulps of dill pickles, mucousy lettuce, sesame seeds. Inside, the workers all move with the same très-glamorous lethargy, conserving their energy, one assumes, for more pressing endeavors: concerts and proms, pep rallies, keg parties, reruns of Jenny McCarthy on MTV. The manager, as usual, is on the phone, talking to her boyfriend. She gently smiles, brushing back wisps of insouciant hair, ready for the cover of Glamour or Vogue. Through her filmy white blouse an indiscreet strap suspends a lace cup through which somehow the nipple still shows. Progress, we guess, ... and wait patiently in line, hoping the Pokémons hold out. NOTE: This poem is almost entirely fiction. There was a Pokemon craze when my son Jeremy was a little boy, and I did see birds and squirrels foraging in parking lots from time to time (and sometimes fed them myself from my car’s window), but everything else is fiction. On the rare occasions that I went to a Burger King, I would go through the drive-in, so I wouldn’t have known who the manager was, or how much time he/she spent on the phone. I think the poem probably started with the image of birds and squirrels squabbling for scraps of food in a parking lot as I waited in a line of slow-moving cars, then evolved as I imagined the hassle of going inside to “speed things up.” Keywords/Tags: America, Americana, American, culture, society, vanity, youth, progress, fast food, video games, Pokemon, MTV, music videos, glamour, models, supermodels, fashion, transparency, see-through, bra, breast, nipples

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020

Post Comments

Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth so only provide specific positive comments that indicate what you appreciate about the poem.

Please Login to post a comment

A comment has not been posted for this poem. Encourage a poet by being the first to comment.