Sputtering ums and ya knows
with furious repetition, he sees
a chance to entertain
his listener with a story.
Four minutes and fifty seconds later,
the end of the account
approaches, yet he leaves
no detail out
however insignificant.
Because, to the man
this thing,
this story is the best he’s ever told;
his “favorite.”

But to the listener
it’s more an exercise
in endurance,
stamina, patience,
and a dash of courtesy.
Their mind wanders
to places it shouldn’t,
to-do lists, schedules,
and what to have for lunch.
When the soliloquy
is dragged kicking and screaming
to a merciful death
the hearer laughs on cue, robotically,
having heard the story twice before.

Retales Banner Image

Jim Landwehr

Jim Landwehr

Jim has two books, Dirty Shirt: A Boundary Waters Memoir, and a poetry collection titled Written Life, both on eLectio Publishing. His nonfiction has been published in Main Street Rag, Forge journal and others. His poetry has been published in many different journals. Jim currently resides in Waukesha, WI.
Jim Landwehr

Latest posts by Jim Landwehr (see all)