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.

Jumping Track

The whistle seeps through my barely open window,
pushing fretful sleep
off the tracks.
The locomotive weeps with me about,
being restricted to rails,
preferring to reject prescribed paths.
The more it longs to escape the iron way,
the tighter it clings because,
it jumped before and
starred in the wreck.
So, it mourns on out of earshot
as I fall back to sleep.

Summer Chorus

I sing of summer on the street
of laughter echoing happiness
up to the third, fourth, even, fifth floors
filling corridors of town so full
that people throw open windows and doors
to let joy spill in.
Let flags and banners snap and flap.
Let flowers bow with courtesy to each other and others.
Let the breezes warm and cool.
Let even the traffic purr contentedly.
Let sunlight’s shadow graffiti mark walls,
and streets and me, as we join the summer chorus.

Bridge Out

Bridge Out  

Road Closed Ahead
Find Another Route

Highway authorities
cast me adrift without a
suggested detour.

Maps offer too little
detail to be helpful.

GPS warns, "Make a Legal U Turn or
plunge to your death on the road ahead."

What next?

Road Closed Ahead.
Set your life in order
Try prayer.
Send up a flare.
No goes there.

Last opportunity for
Last Will and Testament here.

So, I stop, just before the bridge
to pray at Larry the Lawyer's
Last Will and Testament Stand,
decline the offer from the kid who 
knocks on my window selling flares,
start back,
ignoring the sign that says,

"Turn Around Now
You Missed It."