Restroom Visit

by Russell Rowland

Rows of arcade games

Sketchy is the restroom
in this ramshackle arcade—almost
a closet, dark—still, she has to go.
Granddaughter, eight, insists
Grampy accompany her. I do—

softened at her own way
of being those years young, her faith
that an elder man, retired,
unremarkable, divorced, can cause
the world to seem a safer place.

Once we’re both inside, I must
1. Turn my back.
2. Close my eyes.
3. Stick my fingers in my ears.
4. Sing loudly a song of choice.

This accomplished, we exit flushed
with success, return to games
that flash and take many quarters,
like the rest of life’s garish bargains.
Love is a lottery you can win.

Category: Featured, Poetry