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  • Writer's pictureColin Phelan


Updated: Jun 30, 2021

I gave her my order,

She gave me a quarter,

I gave her a “thank you”

She gave me my coffee.

I turned, to my right - clockwise,

Grabbed a straw,

And only a straw.

I don’t feed milk to my coffee.

My coffee is juche -

Meaning self-reliant, in Korean -

A term intensely popularized

By Kim Il-Sung,

Kim Jong-Un’s Grandfather,

The founder, and first father,

Of the DPRK.

*Back to the Jersey Turnpike.*

One of those rest-stops,

With not-so hearty,

Not so-healthy

Grab-and-go options.

But I just grabbed a coffee.

But he needs a friend,

Anyone, anything,

A complement.

I don’t like mike-n-ikes,

Nor M&M’s. I’m particular about my candy.

I have a soft spot for the hard-shelled double-bubble

Gum balls. But here, on the turnpike,

The only gum-ball machine they have,

Amidst the other machines

Filled with the other candies I don’t like,

Are blue-raspberry gum balls.

I’ll pass.

I circumambulate the machines once more,


A mixed-flavor gum-ball machine!

I slide my precious quarter in,

And twist the lever, right,

Cup my hand around the disposal latch,

Until the gum-ball comes to papa.

I didn’t think.

What are the odds: a blue-raspberry gum-ball.

I suppose, its better than nothing.

I guess?

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