K. S. Hodges

a bad year

		'It's been a bad year for garage sales.'
                He sat on the porch shaking his head.
                Meg squinted at the dust clouds on the horizon,
                'Yep - a bad crop of books - those ones
                from the Lutheran Church, covers were bent -
                bookstore wouldn't take em. Sad thing,
                used to be able to count on the Lutherans.
                There's some sales on the east side of town.'
                Fred chewed on his straw and rolled the can
                of diet coke in his hands, sighed.
                No use goin, no use - they don't read much -
                just romances, readers digest condensed books.
                They stared silently at the gathering storm,
                thinking of the half-empty book box.
                This time last year, it was overflowing.
                Had to start a second box. Took a whole load
                down to the buyers, got a dollar apiece -
                enough credit to last all winter.
                Meg said, 'there's one more, next week -
                the Catholics.' Fred grunted, not too hopefully.
                It'd be bake sales and bric-a-brac.
                He didn't say it, for Meg's sake.
                People just didn't read, not like they used to.
                He took a swig. The wind and dust settled in.