Best Buy at the Drive Up

He no longer
drops his head
on the steering wheel
and sighs as his tears
sogs his Big Mac
for these Friday
are now as routine
as the teen
at the takeout
who knows
without asking
that he needs
four catsup packs
to make it
through the fries
and onto his coke
his ex-wife
no longer looking
over her shoulder
as they drive off
his kid’s head down
already absorbed
into his Mac tablet
without so much
as a gif good bye

Deep in the Hamper

They meant well
with their casseroles
and photo books
but the walls
closed in
as the hole
in our lives
grew bigger
and bigger
and life went on
day after day
till Saturday’s laundry
revealed the brandy
now on ice
like Momma’s
so plastered

Venetian Blind

through the slats
as the day
closed in

through clenched
teeth lingered
with skin

mother smiling
lunch packing

and I
none the wiser
on my way
off to school

Canned Goods

It’s a mistake
to hit your brother
on a shopping day
for Momma
holds the opener
and the spoon
and there
are only
so many
in the fruit
and all your
can’t produce

Sting in the Compliment

becomes you
he said
with a tilted
but I’m
not sure
if that
was scorn
or mockery
so kudos
for your
here’s a
prickly pair
of stinging

Penny Loafers

George Henry Bass
was the maker of
Norwegian ‘Weejuns’
penny loafers
able to make both
Dean and the King
look cool
as those Ivy League
students too lazy
to find their socks
two pennies
for their thoughts
just enough then
for a phone call home
that Mommy please
guilt dip
into your own
secret stash
send more love
in the form
of a twenty
cause my two
to rub together
is gone.

I’m Not Qualified to Ride the Bus










The farm kids
seemed oblivious
of the silage scent
they bussed to class
and though they suffered
the cold taunts and teasings
of us city kids
truth be told
at the end of the day
I envy them
their relaxing
ride home
to toss their books
chase the chickens
and wrap their arms
around baby cows
step barefoot toes
onto warm dirt rows
pick squishy grubs
off hardened cabbages
jump from the hayloft
onto scented silage
finally called to supper
of home baked bread
golden field corn
and pork ribs slathered
in spicy sauce
while I sit cross legged
on the hardwood floor
scalding my mouth
on foiled tv dinners
with reruns
of ‘Happy Days’
to fill my nights.

Final Cleanout










You wanted to say
so much
yet didn’t

but called for
a dumpster
to toss their life

their boxes
and boxes
of this and that

their knick

their photos
of strangers
shoulders aching

your hands
dust dirty
staining your soul

so sorry’
with tears falling

on plants just dying
to go home
with you.

Fed Up Breakfast

Mom puts the plate
in front of me
but I am too hungry
for biscuits
to see her

as anything
but the bringer of food
the washer
the dryer
the back of the house

whether she smiles
as she pours
the coffee or gravy
or turns to cry
I never see her

wipe her hands
hang the towels
exhale with a sigh
too much on her plate
till lunch

Buckle on the Leather Belt

I had dreams
of being
a shining
of distinction
yet your
raised arm
and downward
left impressions
of me
raw and red
and through
the years
their childhood
any dreams
I had
any dreams
they had
so dark
in the closet
we all cry.