Insecurity Blanket

More scared of being scared than scared,

she cowers under the covers.

Barely breathing and keeping quiet

she hears only her heartbeat.

In darkness, under cover,

she sees nothing.

then, comes the smell

of tepid breath,

then, comes the beat

not in sync with her heart,

then, in deep distress,

yellow eyes glow

then, the mouth full of canines

snap in her direction.

then, the blanket is thrown off

when she calls, “Mommy,”

then, no one answers,
as, the blanket muffles…

Needy Man

Four minutes seep by,
so he freaks out,
as his call goes unreturned,

every sixty seconds.

His confidence hissed out of him,
like steam from a punctured pipe,

about the time he lost his job.

He absorbed attention,
like parched grass gulps rain,

about the time arthritis gripped him.

Suspicions whirl,
anxieties engulf,
as he discovers,
no one needs a needy guy.

Fear of Buzzing

I always give a wide berth to bees,
so I notice when they’re absent.
Behavior borne not of fear but healthy respect,

and recollection of stingings.

Avoid a soaking
get out of the rain.
Avoid a stinging,

stay away from bees and,

where bees hang out,
which makes me
suspicious of flowers, spilled coke

and other blooming things,

so while wide-berthing hostas,
listening for tell-tale buzzing,
I notice flowers still bloom

but bees are gone.

I wish no harm for bees or me,
hope to see them next spring,
but, until then,
I walk boldly by the hostas.

Most of All, I Miss…

I miss the crack of the bat,
the slap in the glove,

dirt and blood collected grabbing a backyard fumble.

Gone is dawn fresh dew,
wicked into blue jeans from waist-high soybeans,

when I walked fields, hoeing weeds.

Nearly forgotten are post-midnight bike rides,
past teeth-bared, ready-to-bite dogs,

and skeleton-filled cemeteries.

I remember script less dates,
starring long smooth legs,

delirious hands and confusion.

I miss,
smells of rain before it falls,
fractal forest shadows,
dreaming of love,
reading Dickens and Dickinson the first time,

my hand wind-surfing at 70 MPH out the car window.

Most of all I miss me.

Seeking Trash

He never found an unbreakable speed limit but, braking was the exciting part of riding with Dad.  The blur of speeding was predictable.  If we were in the car and dad was driving, and he always drove, we were speeding. 

Braking hard was always a surprise.  Some of our cars didn’t even have safety restraints.  When the cars did have seat belts, they were buried in the seats because Dad hated them, reasoning, “If we are in a wreck and the car catches on fire, we might not be able to get the belts loose and we’d burn up.”   He also comforted my seven year-old self with, “When we get in a wreck and get knocked out, the cops may not be able to get us loose before the car explodes.”

My safety restraints were the dashboard and the back of the front seat.

Continue reading Seeking Trash

No Matter How Hungry

She sees me glance at the kitchen floor,
shrugs her shoulders
and says, “It has character…

tells a story.”

The seven inch slash of marinara
speaks of pizza abuse,
spaghetti flinging or

some Mafioso mystery.

Crumbs leave a trail
so disturbed by foot traffic
that neither origin or destination

can be tracked.

Splots dot the vinyl floor
in denominations of dimes, pennies,
nickels, quarters, and,

still crawling, intergalactic currency.

Mainly, the floor cries out,
“If it falls jelly side down,
don’t pick it up
to eat it.

You May Recall

Often late in July but,
always in August,

cicadas sang.

Dogday cicadas lullabyed,
then awakened me,

usually, within the same hour.

Like everything repeated,
their song’s rise and fall,

grows familiar.

When that happens,
you notice them about as often

as you think about breathing.

You brush away a silent skeleton,
realize the song has stopped,

and night is as empty as a cicada’s shell.

Someday, your mind may brush against
a rough, frail memory and you may recall,
I once sang for you.

Care For an Apple?

Premeditated flickers 
beneath lifeless eyes

whisper, “come here.”

As fangs display,
she leaps away

from the striking snake.

Shouting encouragement to her hoe
she swings, reflexively, reactively,

righteously in response to preemption.

As dead eyes flicker out,
she weeps,
wondering of fruit and trees.