Door to Door
He tooled around Long Island
in a late-model Chevy, chivvying housewives—
never cold calls, having learned
how to sweet-talk even a dubious
prospect into giving up her best friends.
The neighborhood worked out by noon,
he’d knock off the rest of the day,
down a few sidecars, brag of being tossed out of Yale
for kicking the teeth out of a physics student.
He’d be eighty or ninety, staring out at the Sound,
last man alive in his nursing home.
Why recall that briefly known smoothie
with slicked-over bald spot and elbow leathers?
They do survive, the rascals, the louts for all seasons,
heroes of what we choose not to be.
Or what we want the courage to become.
What did we sell? Kitchen knives. Razor sharp.