William Soule
The Lobby

From the lobby—the rows of egg-shaped lights
reflecting off the glossy surface of the floor,
and the few people left, already heading home
after hugging and catching up about the farm life
back east and south, raising chickens and milking
the cows—I lean by the phone booth, anxiously
holding my last two quarters, wondering when
Father will arrive to scoop me up with a hairy arm
in that tight embrace I haven't felt since he left us
like stray pigs in Dixie Alley. Outside, a dark rain
blankets the city and I slide the two coins in
and listen to the male voice, monotone: the voice
I almost confuse with warmth, with anything besides
an empty lobby, an incubator hatching a lone chick
crying for the beak that would never crack the glass.


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