Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Percentages

We used to loaf

parts of random

Friday nights

in a dirt lot behind

Prospect Heights

Federal Housing

where we’d grown up.

Sipping Narragansett

Giant Imperial Quarts,

a 20% bonus provided

more than forty ounces,

we were steadfast

in our faith that our choice

left Bud, Miller and Coors

in a cloud of choking dust.

Fifty cents the cost,

a nickel back for

return of the corpse.

Bill was the barkeep.

He was a master

of the bottle cap,

could pop one

using his teeth

as easily as biting

a sissy filter off

a bummed cigarette.

Army and Navy

lore was the drill

until childhood

tales kicked in.

We spoke of kids

we’d never see again

and toasted them with

our hefty bargain brews

and judged the clunks

were percentages sweeter

than the clicks of society

Champagne flutes.

Thomas M. McDade is a 76 year old resident of Fredericksburg, VA, previously CT & RI. He is a graduate of Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT as well as twice a U.S. Navy Veteran, serving ashore at the Fleet Anti-Air Warfare Training Center, Dam Neck Virginia Beach, VA and at sea aboard the USS Mullinnix (DD-944) and USS Miller (DE / FF-1091). His poetry most recently appeared in The Chariot Press Review.