Captiva Island, Florida
The battered shack is a colorless lithograph
wearing a heavy layer of musk, mildew and dust.
My grinning brothers halt
before a plastic, seven-feet tall, neon Jolly Green Giant
and ho-ho-ho with him.
Shelves hold empty Nabisco cracker tins,
Hershey’s cocoa cans, a musty stack of 1941 calendars.
Sea shells cover photo frames and vases,
even a crucifix with a rusted tin corpus
clinging like a barnacle to the cross-bar.
I wind through the maze, searching a way out
and see a bushel basket near the exit, filled
with curled portraits printed on Kodak paper
and stare into the stern face of a fat woman wearing an apron,
high-top shoes and holding a huge spoon
in her right hand. A mustachioed man in a bowler hat
is beside her in a five-button suit, leaning on a cane.
Another photo finds a bustled bride carrying a huge bouquet
of calla lilies, her dour-faced groom rigid beside her.
I wonder if this was a happy marriage.
Near the door, a hand-lettered sign reads
$2.00 each, no limit
and the clerk chirps, “Please come again.
We have more if these don’t please you.”
Outdoors, sunshine clears my mind and I realize
it may be possible after all to choose