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by Mather Schneider

Leslie is deaf.
Last year she was strolling her baby
across the street
when a woman in a Volvo ran into her.
She was alright but the baby went into a coma.
It's a year later and she finally got her
check from the lawsuit, plus the child
finally woke up last Tuesday,
and started crying.

I drive Leslie to the bank in my cab.
She makes me go inside with her.
She's a big girl, 35 years old.
Inside the bank, I wait while
she takes care of her finances.
She doesn't trust anyone there.

Then I drive her to see her ear doctor.
Again she insists I go inside with her.
The female doctor talks to her like a megaphone.
I sit in the waiting area
with a picture book of wolves.

Finally I take Leslie home.
Halfway there, she falls asleep.
Every time the 2-way radio crackles
her heavy lids open slowly.
She feels the vibrations.
Then they close again.
She has a smile on her face
like an angel sitting
on my right shoulder, dreaming of her child
safe at home.
I don't want the trip to end.
I drive slow,
smooth as a cradle.

About the author:
39 year old cab driver living with a Mexican woman here in Tucson, the Old Pueblo. Chapbooks out by Temporary Vandalism and Interior Noise Press. My poems have appeared in the small press since 1996, but I've been writing a lot longer than that. No degree or awards to mention.

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Midnight Picnic
a novel by
Nick Antosca


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