We All Miss Ralph

Circa 1968
In a Hawley Street laundromat,
the urban housewife’s last resort
become a resource for hippies
I am waiting for our clothes to dry
sitting atop a washer, reading a paperback
my feet draped in front of the window
We’re all cool
A helmeted motorcycle pilot
escorting a pretty, braless lady
hurries in the door
He walks directly toward me
“Are you Ralph?” he demands
“No, man. Sorry.”
His girlfriend, almost panicking, looks around
“Does anyone know who Ralph is?”
The washing machines continue 
their low and persistent rumble
A black kid folds clothes on a table
No one admits to knowing who Ralph is

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