Mt. Shasta Rest Stop


has a picnic table in shade
and we stop and get out the little Weber grill,
put on four brats with apple and chicken.
Two young men in yellow vests
work the cleanup crew whooping it up
carrying plastic bags, helping each other
with what it is they're charged to do.
Not yet in their 20s we think, watching them.
Soon they smell these brats.
Hot dogs, they say, pointing to the grill.
We have two extra. Would you like them?
They run over as I get the buns ready.
Catsup? Mustard? Both. Karen says,
They've got apple and chicken inside.
One says, I can taste the apple.
The other says to his companion,
You're supposed to say, 'Please', and,' Thank you'.
Didn't you know that?
The man with the dog, smoking a cigarette,
watching us all, walks by, says,
They have just enough intelligence
for a government job.

Jim Bodeen
20 September 2016

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