Peter Chapman Poetry

Ugly Man

his teeth, the few he has,
(remarkable in a man so young)
are dark and scraggly,
as though raced by a dry wood fire,
the lip with a tight curl

he'd wait on me at the deli, always helpful, friendly,
telling me to have a nice day

so when i saw him at the pool, i said hello, asked how he was

fine he said, and very happy,
because his little girl, who "has a cleft palate, just like mine"
had surgery and was doing fine

i took a second so he wouldn't see,
then swallowed the bitter taste of me,
burnt with joy, unrivalry