Jack Rabbit Slims Convenience Store

It sits between the Dollar General
and Rescue Alley, begging
for change, white sign
with a Jack Rabbit dressed
like a ’40s gangster. Smug grin,  
he leans against a lamppost,
his cane no more relevant
than the red suspenders
clamped to his slacks.
In the parking lot sits a trailer,
where a guy who goes by Dino
sells fireworks with names
like Falcon Rising, Sexy Rider,
and Bada Bing! Bada Boom!
Nancy burns one out back,
and rumors about town
contend the ladies love Dino
for his sparklers and not for
his cherry bombs, which might
mean anything in Sulligent, Alabama,
where things are still simple
enough for a scratch-off ticket
and half-a-tank of non-ethanol gas
—a reminder on the way home
that there is more to life
than barely making it. Why,
right at your foot a 1952
wheat penny shimmers like
a pinky swear in a schoolyard.

Copyright © 2015 by Kerry James Evans. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 18, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.