Jennifer Browne

Morning in America

The saddest man
is not the one playing
the claw machine,
quarter after quarter,
to catch the shield,
an off-brand superhero,
in the lobby of a Walmart.

And he is not the man
who recognizes his own
in this gambler’s face,
thinks, He just needs a win.

But that third, leaning
against the carts,
his empty hands
a game of chance,
rigged to loosen their grip
before the dangling prize
can hit the chute.


Jennifer Browne lives with caffeine addiction, importunate curiosity, and an intermittent stutter in Frostburg, MD, where she is a Lecturer in English and the Director of the Center for Literary Arts at Frostburg State University.