Two Poems by Timothy Gager

reply to the grumpy cashier at the fast food restaurant

Hello Sunshine!

just make my damn sandwich

‘cause at minimum wage

that’s what you’re here for


Just a reminder:

no one died on a cross

making that bun

the body of Christ

and the fact that I’m 40

doesn’t automatically mean

I’m checking out your body, Christ

I don’t want anything else,

only what I asked for


I think I’ve done this before

I’ve set my eyes on your sour puss,

smiled and said thank-you,

salt-pepper-ketchup, please

go the fuck home

and continue doing nothing.


Exclamation for a Separation
which happened long Ago

Hey you. I’ve never spoken badly
about you but I need to start.
I just wanted to say how things are
for me regarding you. You
with no sense of forgiveness…believe
me when I say I still remember the
time I had to wrestle an apology out
of myself I never wanted to give.
Boy was that a mistake, I thought
you just wanted to smell the blood
of my weakness so you could say,
Ha, I’m a shark! Now, I can no longer
speak or even look at you. It angers me
like a match sparking a gasoline river.
I want you to die but not before I want
you to know that my feelings will remain
and that is a good thing. It is that rage
which never again wishes to break into your
heart; the way yours did to mine,
to hurt it, which motivates me to never be weak or
give in to a cold hearted unforgiving fuck
like yourself who will never have the
privilege of ever knowing me again.
You will still use others for your personal
gain but it will never be me. Here’s some
advice: I still see that you are up to your
old tricks so I hope you’ve learned after
your career falls flat on your blank
transparent face. that I think it would
work out nicely for everyone. Chalk it up to
lessons learned. It’s taken years of restraint
to not say I want to punch you in the face
then stab you. Too harsh? I’m not sorry!
See that! I’ve learned. I’ve just give you
fodder to talk about me the way you
always did, at least today, feel what’s real.


Timothy Gager is the author of eight books of short fiction and poetry. He has hosted the successful Dire Literary Series in Cambridge, Massachusetts every month for the past eleven years and is the co-founder of Somerville News Writers Festival.His work has appeared on NPR and in  over 250 online and print journals since 2007. He has  been nominated for the Pushcart Prize nine times.
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