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Poem: 25.9 


Two gas pumps, in the shadow of a winged-stallion,
stood side by side like American Gothic.
My furlough completed, duty-bound for battalion,
I wondered aloud and questioned the logic

of fractional pricing at dust-bowl gas stations,
nine-tenths of a cent unlike that of a mile,
the price they are paid in these situations
for having foresight and marketing guile.

Traveling in uniform, 1968,
the country at war within and without
I could catch any ride and cross any state.
Never since, have I had that kind of clout.

In the Kansas high-plains they get twenty-five nine,
when you’re running on fumes, at the end of the line.

  • A poem by Paul R. Clemente


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