Dark Laurel
by Robert E. Jordan

Off work at a winter six,
wends his way; pay stuck
firmly in his wallet.
Looks over his shoulder,
notices something following,
something small in a black coat;
turns off New Market Street,
onto dark Laurel,
trying to lose something following
in a black coat that's small.
He turns up Front Street,
something small in a black coat's
still back there, seems to be following.
He knows what it is, that's OK.

Goes into Stupka's place,
wants to have a few drinks,
kick up a little dust
in the raw winter night.
Sits down at the bar,
has more than a few,
the conversation's good,
time slips away, hour by hour.

Leaves Stupka's place after ten,
staggers up Front Street,
turns into dark Laurel,
falls off the curb,
sprawls across the narrow street,
he doesn't know how to get up.
Down and sleeping,
helpless and silent,
he doesn't feel the small something
in a black coat roll him over.
It digs into his pocket,
pulls out his wallet,
and takes what's left of his pay.
Carefully the small something
slips the wallet back into his pocket,
says "Thanks Dad."

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