quick draw contest…

quick-draw-contest

Modified Image: Image Source: http://www.historyisnowmagazine.com

aunt bea
pulled out an old photo
of me
all decked out
as a cowboy
complete with
a genuine cowhide
double holster
holding white
simulated
pearl
handled pistols
she
said
as i recall
you
and
your cousins
were into
tv westerns
gun smoke
hopalong cassidy
and
such
you boys
would stand out front
practicing your quick draws
producing enough noise
from those cap guns
to send
the neighborhood dogs
into a barking
frenzy
back then
you didn’t
consider
the real consequences
of carrying out
a quick draw contest
with others
how death
was the real winner
seems like
the new administration
hasn’t quite
realized
that yet
or
doesn’t care

fleabags…

fleasbags

having
returned
from
a weekend
in
the mountains
of
socal
i stopped
by
aunt bea’s
laughing
i told her
about
a small town
that
had elected
a dog
as
mayor
she
said
sadly
seems
like
the nation
has
outdone
that
one

* The title of the poem does not refer to the Honorable Mayor Max, II

a question of survival…

no-in-my-neighborhood

i stopped by
aunt bea’s
on the way home
from work
on friday
feeling depressed
about
congressional certification
of
what’s-his-name
expressing the same
to her
asking how
as a nation
we would survive
aunt bea
said
when your mother
and
i
would go to church
we always
sat at the back
away from
the busybodies
that shared more gossip
than
gospel
during sunday service
from there
you could see
the choirs
on
those sundays
when we had
two choirs
the senior choir
would
always
have to be
first
followed
by the youth choir
so
most folks
arrived
late
preacher
would always
delay the collection plate
until
the youth choir
had awakened
the congregation
and
got folks
amen-ing
so
the bills
could get paid
i still recall
the first time
your aunt elizabeth
sang
how great thou art
lord
even the deacons
put money
in the collection plate
that day
how
that woman
could sing
and
fortunately
for pastor
she was the head
of the youth choir
which meant
manna from heaven
when
the youth choir
was featured
every other sunday
well
i cannot
for the sake
of me
recall
why
i started telling
you
about that
oh
now i remember
how will we survive
the next few years
simple
in the hearts
and
with
the strength
of
our youths

as the new year begins (2017)…

as-the-new-year-begins-2017

i stopped by
aunt bea’s
to
show her
my new camera
as
i was
explaining
its features
she said
wouldn’t it
be
wonderful
if
we could all
automatically
refocus
on
life’s situations
as
quickly as
that
new camera
of yours
keeping
proper perspective
on
what’s
really
important

chitlins at christmas…

christmas-tree

aunt bea
and
i
were talking
about
how each christmas
my mom
would make
chitlins
and
though
i loved
the taste of them
with
just the right amount
of
vinegar
the
smell
when
they were cooking
was
what i imagined
hell would smell like
aunt bea
smiled
and
said
child
getting
what
you want
sometimes requires
that you
put up with
something
you don’t
enjoy

mia…

nursery rhyme

with a smile
as soft
as
warm butter
aunt bea
asked
did
i ever
tell you about
your
aunt elizabeth
being
lost
during her
first
kindergarten class
i said
i don’t recall
that particular
story
well
she said
seems
that
shortly after
a morning recess
your
aunt lizzy
went
missing in action
needless to say
since
the teacher
knew
your grandmother
she was
almost
in full cardiac arrest
when
she couldn’t
find
mom’s youngest
fortunately
another child
volunteered
information
about
her location
which was in
a small closet
in the classroom
when
the teacher
asked
why she was there
your
aunt lizzy replied
it’s
so
chaotic
out there
i just needed
some time to myself
aunt bea
said
lot of folks
need such time
but fail
to take it

from cleveland 34 hours via i-80 west…

from-cleveland-to34-hours-via-i-80-west

aunt bea
had just
turned off
the pbs news
as i entered
her front door
she was
giggling
to herself
so i asked
why
she said
seems like
that fellow
who’s running
for
president
only wants
pretty little things
around
cute little girls
like
his daughter
attending to
his
every
need
he seems
to have confused
the white house
with
the playboy mansion