Speed Demons

Speed Demons

In our frantic dash through life,
we’ve devised

microwave ovens,
self-checkout lanes,
next day delivery,
and
blazing gigahertz.

Thank God for

slow summer days

that entice sweet corn seed seven feet toward heaven,
lingering kisses in the night,
and
the nine loving months that mother and child
are one.

Homework

Homework

More than a rainy day
game in waterlogged

Seattle,

Monopoly taught us that some
properties were more

valuable than others;

that hotels cost more
than houses,

but created income;

that landlords were
cruel masters,

always to be paid;

that money could
be hoarded,

but easily spent;

that bankruptcy
was shameful,

and to be avoided;

that banking
meant extra

work;

that addition and subtraction
could be managed

in the head;

and most important of all,
that success in life might

depend on the roll of dice.

Choices

Choices

Had I but kept
my wits
about me
in junior high school

and  taken the

Intro To Kissing
elective

instead of Algebra I

(as the system insisted),

and then, a year later,

(when summer ended),

in my sophomore season,

opted for the

Advanced Kissing 
elective

(as the hormones demanded)

in place of Geometry 1

I certainly would have
notched a better G.P.A.

and 

perhaps gained greater

status with the girls.

Ready Or Not

Ready Or Not

Despite a thousand warnings
from people who make it their
business to know,

the weather--
no matter the season--

is worse than

Gramma can ever remember,

and she,

(God bless her gentle heart)

has no business except to
remember her childhood,

a pleasant time when children
played simple games like

hide and seek.

Her eyes, closed tightly against
the bark of a shade tree in the
front yard, she counted slowly--

". . . 98, 99, 100. Here I come,
ready or not!"--

so that others, forewarned,
hiding amid silent giggles--

until, muscles taut, ready for 
the race back to the maple--
erupt like cheetahs

from behind the

neighbor's gate.

American Appetite

American Appetite

Narrow are the
          Base Paths
          Our
          Children
          Race
          Around.
Slender are the
          Willows
          That
          Shade
          Our
          Gurgling
          Creeks.
Meagre is our
          Forgiveness
          For
          Apologies
          Unmade.
Precarious is the
          Tightrope
          Our
          Health
          Balances
          Upon.
Paltry is our
          Patience
          For
         Hindrance
          In
          Commutes.
And Solid are the
          Laws
          Our
          Democracy
          Rests
          Upon.
But Wide as the Mississippi is our
          Capacity
          For
          Kindness,
          Generosity,
          And
          Pie.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Handshake

Can you see a narrow path, just wide enough for one
 where two men chanced upon each other a long time ago? 
In the morning glory, witnessed by a wary sun— 
did they stop and stare, and wonder, friend or foe? 

Can you hear the roaring silence of unbridled fear, 
louder than the wails of most destructive storm? 
When men came face-to-face, blood pounding in the ear— 
eyes wild for escape, sensing death’s true form?  

Can you feel the breath of danger cold upon your face, 
and hair upon your neck bristling to attention? 
Were two molded statues, crafted from God’s race— 
rooted as the oak or maple, actions still undone?    

Can you see the younger of the two, stalwart as could be,  
his empty palms extended, no killing blade secret there? 
Was hatred harbored in his heart, more difficult to see— 
or reflected in his eyes as youthful courage rare?  

Can you hear the other man, older yes, tall and lean, 
notch mute arrow and string his deadly bow? 
Was language infant then, the world still raw and mean— 
that no words passed between them, oh so long ago? 

Can you feel a seething warmth lick across your skin,  
a glistening swath where death simmers hot and near? 
Were words so few that mere actions cradled sin— 
and in your throat you stifle the choking grip of fear? 

Can you see a selfish path where brave men often kill, 
and must in desperate haste decide another’s fate? 
Do you see a fiery blacksmith’s forge, hearts upon the anvil— 
shaping threatened lives, facing heaven’s yawning gate? 

Can you feel survival's strain, amid death’s insistent call, 
when the one with most to lose, smiled and stepped aside? 
Can you feel the forest’s breath release a sigh for all—   
where two men chose civility over instinct to abide?  

Can you see a narrow path where many came to walk, 
and a pleasant widening grew, and many pause to talk? 
Where empty hands were grasped to show no harm was meant— 
and where a wordless truce between two men was heaven sent?