quarantine…


i suppose

out

of

a level

of

self pity

i called

aunt bea

to

see

how she was doing

without

visiting

her friends

and

to

lightheartedly

complain

about

my imposed celibacy

aunt bea

gave a giggle

and said

well

a number

of

my old friends

have

a hard time

getting around

these days

so

visits

were

infrequent

before the pandemic

and

as for your

celibacy

you’ll find

there comes

a point

in

aging

when

passionate romance

becomes

a mere memory

from the window an old pokey pickup truck…

i’ve spent
quite a few
sleepless nights
during
this
quarantine period
trying
to
measure aspects
of
my life
and
wondering
how others
could have
just
now
begun
to
appreciate
the struggles confronting
those
all around them
since
aunt bea
has lived
through
so much
i thought
i’d give her
call
and
asked
her opinion
aunt bea
said
the pace
of
our daily routines
blurs
our views
of
of life’s journey
keeping
what we’ve seen
or
what
we could have seen
out of focus
perhaps
the pandemic has
forced us
to
slow down
and
see
what’s been
right
in front of us
the whole time
we just
needed
to slow down
a bit
to feel
the pain
of
others

 

never eat a mushroom unless you can positively identify it…

i got
aunt bea
a new iphone
so
we could
do
a little facetime
while
we’re confined
to
our respective
homes
we were
reminiscing
about
my inability
as
a youth
to
distinguish mushrooms
that
were edible
from
those
that were
poisonous
i suppose
it’s
a bit
like
picking
the right president
aunt bea
said
sometimes
we can’t choose
for
ourselves
and
every now
and
then
that can be
a good thing
but
we must always
be
observant
and
actively engaged
just
in case
those who
chose
for
us
made
a serious
mistake

 

prayer or staged devotion…

after so much
dialogue
about prayer
this
past week
i was wondering
what
aunt bea
thought
about
all this
public
combat
on
religious observances
so
i stopped by
on
my way home
from
work
she said
public prayer
lets folks
know
you
have something
in
common
with them
or
serves
as
a
how great i art
vulgar
marketing ploy
but
private prayer
lets you
have
an uninterrupted conversation
with
the divine
it makes
folks
feel
better
to
have expressed
what
is already known
one thing’s for sure
prayer
for
power
is not
the same
as
the
power
of
prayer

 

recognition…

unannounced
i stopped by
aunt bea’s
to
complain
about
not being
appreciated
at
work
before
even saying
hello
i began
my
diatribe
but
she stopped me
and
with
a blank look
on
her face
asked
who are you
thinking
she might be having
a memory issue
i said
i’m your nephew
don’t you remember
she said
of course
i
know
who
you are
but
i
wanted you
to feel the emotion
of
being
forgotten
since
at
work
they’ll
barely recall
you
were ever there
once
you leave
but
only family
real family
those defined
by
a loving relationship
not
necessarily by blood
will hold you
in their hearts
until
their hearts
cease to be

 

need-to-know basis…

aunt bea
was
sitting
on her back porch
when
i heard
her say
lord
lord
lord
these folks
sure
got their nerve
when
i asked
what was wrong
she
said
these funeral parlors
keep
sending me notices
about
how
i can save family members
the inconvenience
of
disposing
of
my corpse
by
prepaying them
for
services
to be rendered
at
some date in the future
she said
now
i’m not opposed
to
helping family out
but
the frequency
and
urgency
of
these mailings
is
starting
to make me wonder
if
they know
something
i
don’t

 

no need for tears…

when
i heard
aunt myrtle
was shot
in
the city
last night
i cried
she
always
treated me
as if
i were special
some kind
of
little prince
i knew aunt bea
might
want to talk
so
i drug my sorry ass
over
to her home
to
console
her
but
aunt bea
could see
i
was the one
needing
consoling
she
said
myrtle
always enjoyed life
she was
keenly
aware
that the cards
were
stacked against us
but
refused
to yield
to
life’s depression
and
chose
to
celebrate life
she knew
no one
could
make
another person happy
it was always
their
choice
and
her choice
even
surrounded
by
racial oppression
was
to be happy
and
that
is
now
your choice

 

this ain’t no mass thing…

i
drove
aunt bea
to her
new doctor’s office
but
waited outside
as
instructed
aunt bea
said
i can be
my own advocate
and
trust me
that’s true
she
informed
her
previous doctor
that
patients
at his place
were
treated
as if
they were
at
a jiffy lube shop
and
the only thing
getting greased
was
his palm

 

cruise critic…

after
aunt bea
got
home
from
her
first
ocean cruise
i stopped by
to
see
what she thought
of
her adventure
aunt bea
said
well
those folks
on
the ship
were
real nice
and
most
other travellers
were
nice too
with
the exception
of
a couple
of
trouble makers
who
seemed
intent
on
physical confrontation
more
than
anything else
but
that’s
another
whole story
one thing
i did
learn
she
said
is
that
the time
spent
at
any given port
is
directly proportionate
to
the amount
of
time
it takes
for you
to get bored enough
to
buy
whatever
overpriced trinkets
portside residents
are
selling
residents
hired
by
or
in cahoots with
the
cruise company
i
also learned
that
sea days
aren’t
really the time
it takes
to
get
to the next port
but
serve
a similar function
as
port of call visits
creating
levels
of
boredom
that
make
you
appreciate
whatever
the next
podunk port
the
cruise company schedulers
have
setup up
ports of call
almost
always
presented
as
traditional
something
or
other
but
after
enough sea days
visiting
a deserted island
becomes
quite
attractive

 

diamond head and other games of life…

i made a quick stop
to check-in
on
aunt bea
since
i needed
to finish
a work project
that evening
aunt bea
said
i appreciate
your stopping by
to see me
with
such a heavy schedule
i was wondering
if
you’ve ever seen
that
old tv program
where
contestants
were put in a booth
with
money blowing
all
around them
their
task was to grab
as much money
as possible
in
a set timeframe
you could grab
as much as you could
but
you shouldn’t grab
one dollar bills
which
by the way
was
the most prevalent
denomination
roaring past you
if you ended up grabbing
one of those
during your time
in the booth
well
game over
you just got
to keep
what came
before
the first dollar bill
was pulled
from your
storage pouch
seems to me
much of life
these days
is spent
in a money booth
with folks
grabbing
as much money
as they can
but
at some point
the
game
is over