dirt on the welcome mat

Monthly Archives: January 2011

He didn’t just

Like candy and soda,

Cupcake wrappers

Filled his tummy too.

Ten chubby fingers

Trembled like Jell-O

As they reached

For the small

Pale hands of his pretty

Curly haired classmate

Who sat in trepidation

across the school lunch table.

But her chocolate pudding

Like the brown swirls of her hair,

Captivated his senses

And curbed his appetite

As he immersed each finger

In the sweet distraction.

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Struggle and rest,
Reach and retreat,
Each heartbeat creaks
Like a weathered
Rocking chair.

When he first felt
Earth’s cold wind
On his baby skin
A slow moan rumbled
Through his bones.

His first steps
On hard wood,
Wobbling he stood
Heel to sole,
Sole to heel.

He dug into the earth
One friend, one hole
Dead doggie soul
Dirt and tears,
Shovel down.

First day lived
As a working man
Nonstop on a business plan
Hours nine to five
Long and longer.

Bought the ring
Then baby shoes
Two pinks, two blues
Twice the joy,
Then doubled grief.

From the front porch
He stoops and stares
Splintered cares
Rock back
And forth.


Brightly colored streamers

Sprout like chia hair

From your nodding head.

They whip in the wind

Of nearby boring conversations,

Stubbornly hanging in place

Like a birthday piñata.

Stories shoot like silly string

From our painted fingernails

As we grip the dinner table.

My hand gestures

Catch each colored strand

While short confetti giggles

Burst sporadically out of our

Wide suppertime smiles.


You flash a smile

As plastic as the

Thank You

On a grocery bag,

Only talking

When a boy

Presses your hand

Like you’re

A cute

Stuffed animal

On a store shelf.

 


You smile
As you rip calendars
With your teeth,

Wanting
Summer to come soon,

Hopefully
This semester won’t take long,

Maybe
We won’t feel tomorrow.

The way your earrings dance
When you cock your head
Says cheerful small talk
Is your specialty.

But I hear death’s
Hollow shouts
Echoing in each drop of
Honey that slides
Down the sides
Of your mouth

And sticks
To the day planner
You clutch on your desk.


Her dirty,

Jagged fingernails

Reach down to scratch

Swollen chigger bites

That pulse and scream

Like ambulance sirens

On her little white legs.

She’d donned her brightest sundress

To dance in the wheat field

Just like the women

She’d seen smiling

On television commercials.

Blood trickles as she scrapes

The irritation and the shame,

But her teeth,

Unblemished,

Shine between two tiny rosy lips

For now she knows she is

Beautiful.


My heart,

Entombed in black nail polish

Ten coats thick,

Painfully pumps

Dark soda liquid

That fizzes violently

Then settles heavy

In my veins.

My swollen throat,

Pounded with bright red Pop rocks,

Tightens around one long, black arrow

Whose sharp tip

Jabs each vital organ

While my lungs,

Like weathered bagpipes,

Torture each breath.