Broken Habits

habits

I have many habits
Only two have I’ve broken

The index finger
Which provided many nights
Of comforting sleep
Tucked inside my mouth
Lost the battle
To delicious rewards
In the morning
When the finger
Was found to not be a prune

The other was the soft spring
Of the hair towards the back of my head
That wound around my fingers
Performing tricks between the knuckles
It lost the battle to age
The reward being baldness

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Long and Wide

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Long and wide
The trailer was home

Sometimes sitting by itself
Among corn fields and goats
And other times on dusty plots
Where dead grass crunched underfoot

Inside were couches with knitted blankets
Draped across their backs
If you inhaled deeply into them
The smell was familiar
And whispered “home”
The rifle hung heroically
Above the doorway
Protection against armadillos
That preyed on trash barrels
And hallways were lined with plastic
A barrier against mud
Carried in on the bottoms
Of childrens shoes
The doors hollow and light
They lightly clicked when they closed
And carried no weight

Laughter would fill the kitchen
As we sat on bar stools
Eating from plates of green beans with bits of bacon
Cornbread and baked chicken
On raised counter tops

After dinner
We would gather around the television
That sat on the carpeted ground
Encased in wood
And with popcorn bowls in hand
We would watch the nights featured TV movie

One room used to belong
To a gentle soul
Who collected ball caps
Gave tractor rides
And pledged allegiance to Pride, Cash and Husky
We would gather around the green player
Dropping the needle down on long plays
But he had moved on
And the room became just a memory of him

Sidewalks that led from the porch
Contained hands that never grew
Pushed deep into the liquid concrete
As fathers and sons kneeled together
Under the shadow of a rotating mixer
And in the wooden building
That sat like a close friend
To the side of the trailer
The craftsman would slowly reveal
The final product of his design
Utilized jigsaws and planers

Long and wide
The trailer was home

Rejected and Returned

NC Dogfighting Rescue

The puppy frothed at the mouth

On my knees
Hands grasping tightly
She shook violently
As I developed a heavy heart
The leather strap
From my stained smock
In her jaw
Separating her jaws
That clenched angrily
I held her close
Closing the door with my foot
Depriving curious gazes

Laying her on the floor
I stroked the back of her neck
Until the vibrating muscles
Discharged of their energy
She became quiet
Eyes of white marble
That stared emptily at the ceiling
Her cries now silenced
Still seemed alive in echoes
When she was better
She would be put back on a plane

Concrete and Glass

apartment

An apartment building
Of concrete and glass
With elevators that went up 18 floors
They would fool us
By stopping mid-floor
In the basement
Rows of steel cages
With yellowed bulbs
Stored everything that couldn’t fit
In tiny apartments

The cantankerous gentleman
With sullen eyes and a thick mustache
Was in charge of the concrete and glass
That towered above
He shouted sharp accented sentences
In deep guttural growls
That smelled like rotten apples
At the children
Who rode down the ramps
From the second floor
Of the parking garage

Surrounding the concrete and glass
Farm land with a patchwork of colors
Where chickens and produce
Were raised together
A little creek cut around from the back
Then ran down the street
Was lined with midsize trees
It tempted little children
To jump it’s banks
But often it opened wide
Sending them waist deep
Into its depths

In front stood a crab apple tree
Which provided small green sour apples
That puckered lips
As teeth sliced through their flesh
From the tops of its branches
You could see the playground
With its towering wooden fort
And sandboxes
Tiny red pin head sized bugs
Made long journeys
Across the gritty territory

During the winter
We biked down the streets
Hugging the snow banks
Following narrow lanes
Created by passing cars
And in the summer
Climbing in the skeletal bodies
Of unfinished homes
Or laying on the ground
Staring up it the tops of the trees
Against the backdrop of blue skies

Not far away
Was the cobble stone streets
That ran through the town
Where butcher shops
Offered us thick portions of bologna
And the bakeries
Cut steaming slices
With dark brown breads
That were warm and aromatic

At the little school
Chalkboards contained beautiful cursive writing
And big windows
That went from the floor to the ceiling
Looked out on a wooded
Playland with birds and squirrels
Teachers and children alike
Delightfully conversed in strange dialects
That didn’t alienate

Then bells would ring
Somewhere
Echoing gently
And we would make are way
Back to the concrete and glass
Settling into bed
As the metal radiators popped
And warmed our rooms

Where the Cries of Mothers Don’t Carry

Hawthorne_Drive_Heather_Hill_Highlands_Ranch

Mother was terrified
We were mystified
She yelled in increasingly
Panicked tones
While we panned out
Walking the neighborhood streets
One of us was missing
In the age of Adam Walsh
Dyed hair in bathrooms
And drugged toddlers
Crossing Mexican borders
For my mother
Minutes turned to an hour
And an hour
Turned into an infinity
But for us it was just a moment in time
Where we didn’t understand danger
And only wished for the missing
To return
Calming and settling
Those that truly understood
The menacing peril at hand

The kidnapper
Turned out to be a charcoal dusted dog
Who suffered no consequences
For luring a small girl
Off into an unfamiliar neighborhood
Where streets looked the same
And the cries of mothers didn’t carry