Poetry March 2008

Executive Shoe Shine

It may go on snowing forever,
but meanwhile, how he’s basking
in the sun of his own multi-tasking!
He’s perched erect on his throne,
looking down on the airport food court,
as the silver snail of a cell-phone
earpiece hooked to his ear
hangs on his every word.
No way to cut him short
until the runways are cleared
and they’ve finished out there de-icing
the right wing, then the left wing
of all those planes before his.
Could he strike us a deal with the weather?
The man hunched below him polishes
one wingtip, then the other.

Mary Jo Salter's sixth collection, A Phone Call to the Future: New and Selected Poems, has just been published. She teaches in the Writing Seminars program at Johns Hopkins University.
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