The Wishing Well
by Jim Schneider

In a fedora, dark suit
and dress overcoat
the small old man
would step quietly in

to check without a
clink the coin slots
on the vending machine
and pay telephone.

He had an eastern
European accent they said
but if you greeted him
or turned to watch

he just nodded
without meeting your eyes
and was gone in the time
it takes to yawn.

So we left coins
and wondered what savage
schooling had taught
such sleight of life.

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