Last time I felt for keys in a stranger's pocket,
I won a new car. It was a De Soto. Big as a house.
I let the stranger live in it until I got the title.
By then the new De Sotos had come out.
With two now to my name, I let the stranger keep
the one I'd won since he'd already tuned the engine
and the radio to All Sinatra All the Time.
My prize De Soto was now a year older but then
so were we. Don't you love when things work out?
Don't you love the feel of genuine, red leather?
I promised my neighbor, Neil Jr.,
that's right, the one on the left
with the Wild Yonder Blue Toyota,
I would cut his grass for him while
he was away on Pluto. I know,
I know, that's a lotta cutting,
not to mention the gas and blade filing,
but damn it, a deal's a deal
and a trip to Pluto's no walk in the park.
When no one was around pretending
to be twiddling their thumbs
I asked Neil Jr. why not just close
your eyes and go out on the ice
and jump up and down from one
to four in the morning like everyone else
who could never afford Pluto fare.
At least when you'd come back inside,
there'd be waffles waiting with steam
rising to melt the frost off your lashes
and juice from a real orange. The kind
you're always going on about,
how it keeps you "in the pink".
Neil Jr. said he'd think it over,
just because I asked, but I knew
he'd been tired of all that grass growing
in so many different directions
for what's it been, decades, ice ages,
so I just gave him a little hug, you know,
the kind you give a hometown hero
who's been to hell and back and damn
if he didn't hug me back with both arms.