I’m resting

as I should be

at dusk after

my wife picked me up,

poet returning to RDU Airport

from Otterbein College,

where I syncopated

with a jazz combo,

but the phone rings

open my eyes.

I do not rise, assume

it is a telemarketer.

My wife’s eyes

become half-dollars,

her mouth drops,

a broken hinge.

I am almost a soggy rag;

someone may have died.

No. On the way home,

I lost my stipend check.

My wife and I dash,

gun the car to Kinko’s

to recover it from a stranger,

a graduate student.

I want to write him a check.

He wants no money,

simply asks me to write him a poem.

Lenard D. Moore, a resident of the Triangle since 1984, is a native of Jacksonville, North Carolina. He is founder and executive director of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective.