SECONDS

by Jim Daniels


Sal Sims sold overstocks, bought out bankrupt stores,
piled clothes in ragged heaps. No dressing rooms.
You could crouch down in back, hoping nobody ventured
that far. That didn’t count Sal, a chatty man who loved
to bargain. My mother shopped for compliments
while we stacked up irregular underwear
for another school year. She browsed Sims often, just to see
what was new. You never knew what you’d find
if you patiently waded through mounds. Sims was short
for Simkowski, we found out later when he sold out
to make way for a Burger King, and my mother shed tears
in his gravel parking lot. His wavy dyed hair and thick cologne
sent her swooning. She always came home
with something.

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