Herb limps down and up the cinders on the berm of Exit Ramp 2-A behind Perkins’ restaurant. He holds up The Intel. He is tired; he is sweaty! His dirty tennis shoes cry out: “Chrish-chrish-cranch-chrish-chrish.” He hobbles backwards mostly, trusting the path he has worn. He thinks about yesterday as he lights his non-filter cig. He remembers that a young male held a flimsy five-dollar bill out of the rear-driver’s-side window. As he approached the vehicle, the traffic began to crawl slowly away. Quickly, the bill disappeared, and the prankster spat a loogie in his face. All of its occupants guffawing, the car pulled away. Herb mopped the wad of phlegm from his sunburnt face and resumed his habit of walking backwardly on the cinders. Papers are just fifty cents, but most people are kind, giving him a dollar, expecting no change. Sometimes he gets a five and a smile; once, he got a twenty and a wink. As he runs out of papers, he counts his tips–$27.50, and he smiles to himself and lights another cigarette as he crosses National Road to await the bus, a twenty-minute ride to his musty apartment. David J. Thomas is a Professor of English at West Liberty University, who is entering his thirty-third year of teaching on the collegiate-level. Originally from Burgettstown, PA, Thomas has lived in West Virginia since 1975. He attended West Liberty State College for a BA in English and History in 1975, Eastern Kentucky University in 1975, Marshall University for an MA in American Literature in 1977, and West Virginia University for a Ph. D. in Modern American Literature in 1992. He was also graduated as a Masters Naturalist in 2010 from the WV DNR. He was elected as the Professor of the Year at WLSC/WLU four different years. He also published a book of poetry, . . .only the trying. . . in 1991. He has additionally published over one hundred poems and articles in the past third of a century. Moreover, he is an award-winning poet, essayist, and cook. Photo by LeeRoy Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window) 2 Responses Meredith Browning-Sterling October 24, 2016 David J Thomas, you never disappoint! Log in to Reply JACK HATTMAN September 27, 2016 ONE OF THE THINGS I ADMIRE ABOUT THOMAS’S POETRY IS HIS ABILITY TO GIVE US AN INSIGHT AND IMAGE INTO A WIDE SPECTRUM OF PEOPLE THAT ARE BACKGROUND TO OUR LIFE IN A COMMUNITY. FOR A BRIEF MOMENT,HE MOVES THE BACKGROUND TO THE FOREGROUND AND HELPS US FOCUS ON THE EASILY UNNOTICED. Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.