Abortion Denied

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Abortion Denied

She had dreams
as big as yours— 

of college—
fine clothes—
a useful career—


grabbed her heart,
that junior year.

He said, 
“I Love You,” 

and she was 


to believe his
thinly sliced 

and Caresses.

The upshot, 

a baby girl
came along.

The boy soon drifted away,
a small boat, unmoored.

There was no 
high school graduation
with diploma in hand, 
proud parents beaming.

Home alone, 
her daughter fussy, 

bottle bubbling, 
angry on the stove,

and later, after the baby 
finally fell asleep, 

she, our dropout,

stood before the mirror,
imagining a glorious 
satin cap and gown,

tassel flipped to one side. 

It was then she saw herself, 

standing beside a dusty road,
dressed in sloppy jeans,
hard hat,
and fluorescent vest
holding a 

Road Closed 

at fifteen bucks an hour

that she wished she had 


way back when.


A Reckoning

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A Reckoning

The poinsettia has died—
I tried.

As best I could—
Anyone would.

Bathed in natural light—
Warm and bright.

More Christmas joy brought—
I thought.

Auld Lang Syne and table set—
“A cup of kindness yet.”

Cupid launched his arrow—
Some thought the aim too narrow.

Easter’s promise. He cleansed our sins—
Life everlasting and everybody wins!

Saint Patrick listens to March say—
“Corned beef and cabbage okay?”

Mother’s Day we all know—
Do miss her so!

Memorial Day, too high a cost—
So many brave young lives lost.

Juneteenth, America's shame— 
Slaves yes, too many to name.

July 4th’s quiet celebration—
Little enthusiasm in a wounded nation.

As for me—
What will be, will be.

The poinsettia has died—
I tried.


More Hyenas

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More Hyenas

Sometime during the night
while everyone slept,
an intruder dared invade
the village perimeter.
Nose to the wind,
sifting, learning, knowing,
he found a child, untended,
and carried him off.
When the tired sun rose
again, lighting the darkness,
a mother screamed,
a sister sobbed,
a father, outraged,
consulted the elders.
They sat, solemn, listened
to a mother's grief,
a father's anger,
a sister's innocence.
They discussed the matter.
The sun climbed higher,
the heat oppressive,
the light blinding.
Finally, at dusk, the elder
said, "To make our village
safe from the hyena we
need more hyenas."
The village women wept.


Crystal Clear

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Crystal Clear

The meaning
of a poem
should be


clear as an icy
mountain stream,

not just a string
of pretty words

tiptoeing through  
the debris of 
ruined romance,

a Rosetta Stone
needing to be

or a phone app
to be pondered.

I have
no time left

for translation.


Solitary Confinement

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Solitary Confinement

Let's pretend Covid
cannot touch me here,

In my imagination. 

There are no mandates, 
or quarantines, 

or swabs, 
or masks. 

It’s a place filled with 
delightful and dangerous 


a hawk of poor vision,
a frozen flight of students, 
an enemy drone, 

breathing down my neck.


American Appetites

American Appetites
Narrow are the Base Paths
Quick is the Laughter
          Love of 
Thin is our Forgiveness
Voracious is our Appetite
	French Fries,
	And Apple Pie.
Paltry is our Patience
	Red Lights
 Solid is the Constitution
And Wide as the Mississippi is our
	Demand for

      Yes, ever more Guns.

. . . j

Red-tailed Rescue

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Red-tailed Rescue: an excerpt from chapter six

“Actually, Kate said, “I think it’s impossible to like school too much. If you want to know the

real truth, little buddy, I love school. But, I’m not fond of broccoli, I abhor war, and pretty much

detest the New York Yankees. They think it’s perfectly okay to buy all the best players just so

they can win the World Series every year. Their attitude really stinks. I want to be a veterinarian,

a writer, or a librarian when I grow up. Since I don’t have a brother though, I may end up as a

rancher when Dad gets too old to run our acreage. Ranching is in our blood. And you are?

Orville had remained silent during Kate’s lengthy family history lesson and her pointed editorial on war and baseball; but nonetheless he appeared keenly interested, taking it all in,

politely bobbing his head in acknowledgment and understanding. Orville clearly understood Kate was introducing herself to him, and when she stopped talking, he tried his best to respond to her last question appropriately.

He opened his beak, blinked his eyes, and a sound remarkably close to Oorrvuule flowed out. “Hunting is my family blood,” he added.

. . . j

Unanswered Prayer

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Unanswered Prayer

When I was a boy Mother insisted I attend Sunday School and Church 
each Sunday, though she never once stepped through the door. 

I occupied a pew beside my sisters, and thought about baseball, rocks, 
golf, fishing, and just about anything else but our Lord and Savior. 

One fine morn there was a special feature—a woman came from afar 
to play glorious music on her harp for all to hear. 

Wait a minute, i thought. Harp is a light Irish beer, and I'd much rather 
have a cold glass of it right now than her and that danged harp.

from the Wonderments and Such collection

. . . j