Poem: Special

by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

I’m not too drunk
mostly maudlin
There’s nothing special about me
I tell my niece Tammi
Individualism is a big lie

Don’t say that, says Tammi
there’s a lot that’s special about you
You’re special because you’re my uncle

There’s nothing special about Tammi either
She and her boyfriend blow all their money
on beer and lotto tickets
She once looked good but now she’s got a pot belly
She looks like a basketball on stilts
She has girlfriends that look like that too

She and her boyfriend have a big gas-guzzling car
I asked her why they didn’t get a Toyota or something
and they laughed at me
Their last car got borrowed by a boozing friend and wrecked
He never gave them anything for it
Like I said
no one’s special around here

I’ve had enough of this visit
I go out to my car
It’s also a gas guzzler
but it’s all I have of my dad

I start the engine and
there’s a scream
a chopping sound
a terrible smell

I know what it is right away—
a skunk’s crawled into the engine compartment
to get warm

Instead it got sliced and diced
I can’t stand it

I go back to the party
I thought you left, says Tammi
I tell her what happened

She laughs
And you said you’re nothing special

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