Epitaph for Bazooka Joe

Juke box country 
scratches stifled speakers 
irritating the sore throat 
of an overcast Monday morning 
early coffee drips for the grey sunrise 
you can’t see the sun 
it cries locked behind the clouds 
but you know it’s there 
it’s a matter of scientific faith
sweeping sidewalk pebbles fall
to dark asphalt waves
that rise and roll
like tired ripples
from a stone cast
on a placid lake
the door chimes
a cheap synthetic tone
but it’s Mozart to my ears
rising above the affected twang
of another styrofoam song
like every other you hear
pre-wrapped and packaged
deep down
in my dusty jean pocket
I find Bazooka Joe
he’s pink, hard, and stale
covered in powdered sugar
awful and saccharine
but he comes with a cartoon
it has more words
than a volume of modern poetry
you can roll your eyes
in response
maybe laugh a little
before tossing it to the trash
a fitting epitaph
for popular culture

© Christopher Raine