joke on the road (20160828)

the street runs through
a good, quiet neighborhood
though cars drive too fast
zipping through crosswalks
where stop signs should stand

amusing themselves
two boys took an orange cone
and placed it in the center
of the street
then evacuated to a spot
out of the radius
of incrimination
to sit and watch

i remembered as a kid
laying double-sided
swaths of masking tape
in the street and waiting
for cars to hit it
then slow down
the sound mimicking a flat

as a pedestrian i laughed
with those boys
and as a driver
i swore at them
but then i just felt bad

only the first handful of cars slowed
and through some kind of
group psychic message
cluing in drivers to the prank
a swarm of cars barely
slowed at all

they left after a few waves
their cynicism confirmed
or the laughter unsatisfied
or their disgust getting
the better of them

Poem 20150705

everything comes out on
independence day

and it all comes out in
the dark

illuminated by old men
in swim trunks

illuminated by remembering
the dead

illuminated by kids with glow bracelets
because fireworks are banned

(though you hear the illegal m-80s
exploding all night long)

watered down with beer
baked with too much sun

filled to bursting with hot dogs
and burges and barbecue

and finally an inevitable tumble
down a hill, face first into a wall

but the miracle of the lights
and the thundering booms

and the excited animal sounds
of the children watching

pure in excitement, redeem it
not only in america, you think

Poem 20141211

at easter
the kids hunted in the backyard
for eggs bill and i hid
the eggs had money in them
fluorescent pinks blues greens yellows
like a rainbow gone radioactive
in the comic book sense of radioactive
hiding in bushes and grass
and empty flower pots and the coiled hose
among the smooth river rocks
on top of the cinderblock fence in plain sight
we led the kids around until they found
the easy ones
then hinted by standing near
where the harder eggs
were hidden pointing with our feet
leaning against the wall
and carelessly exposing the egg
in its hiding place
and the kids knew what we were doing
and didn’t care
and filled their baskets
little victorious hunters

Poem 20141204

the first time her brother cried
she hid
opening cabinets
in the hospital room
crawling inside
pulling the doors shut
opting for the safety
and the quiet of a womb
big enough to hold her
recognizing the longing
in her brother’s voice