poetry by j matthew waters

A Peanut Farmer in Iowa City

I’m going by memory
so my facts may be a little fuzzy
but it was the early eighties
and I was in line
at Hamburg Inn No. 2

Supposedly Jimmy Carter
was a few spots ahead of me
or so the young lady I was with pointed out
me promptly responding
with something like shut the fuck up

Like I say I’m going by memory here
but I’m pretty sure both Jimmy
and I ordered a double swiss &
a small fry

(I don’t remember what drinks
they offered
but if they had beer on tap
that was probably it)

There’s no way you could eat
inside the smallish & popular place
most of the booths & seats & stools
nearly always taken
a minority of which
by ghosts of politicians past

As we headed back downtown
—lunching while we walked—
I kept asking what’s her name
if she was absolutely sure

september two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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