—a poem by Mather Schneider


His real name’s Ed and he’s a cab driver.
He leans against his cab
in the cab cue at the Holiday Inn.
He’s hunched over,
has balding hair
and puts both hands in his
big loose pockets.
Every time he exhales he sighs.
He has wide hips
and sloped shoulders
and a low slung flabby belly
like a half-full feed bag.
I pull in behind him.
“How long you been
waiting?” I ask
while getting out of my cab.
“Oh,” says Mr. Enthusiasm,
“Maybe a half hour.
Maybe an hour.”
Just then 5 Asian girls walk toward us.
“We need taxi,” one
of them says,
but they can’t all fit in
Mr. Enthusiasm’s car.
My taxi is a van
and so we all pile in.
I look at Mr. Enthusiasm
as I drive away.
“Sorry,” I say.
He shrugs.
Earlier I’d rubbed Radi’s shoulder
at the Greyhound bus station.
Radi is another cab driver.
He’s a Buddhist from India
and is always full of good cheer.
If you rub him you’ll have good luck
all day.

Mather Schneider drives a cab in Tucson.