I remember the old store vaguely.
Smell of the owner's cigar,
how frost rose up to cool my face
while I picked an ice cream cup,
wooden scoop served as a spoon.
My grandfather talked to the owner
as I licked the sticky sweetness
already melting from the heat of the store.
Bottles of R.C. Cola, root beers,
candy cigarettes, back before everything
needed a warning stamped on it.
My first puppy came from a litter
that the owner's dog had, free
to a good home, the sign read.
I don't know what happened
to the owner when progress
shut the store doors, now it's
a run down building at the end
of a road, a road I still
don't call by it's street name.
I call it by the owner's name,
the same as everyone else.
These were the years when
I could proudly give the man
a nickel to dig candy out of
a large barrel, sitting at the
entrance, one gas pump
and people waited patiently.
Nobody was in a hurry back then.
My children will never know
how wonderful a one cent
piece of gum tasted, heavenly.
donetta sifford 7-20-2014
Written for Mag 229