Death poses for a photo


Here I sit on goddamn bench in the Quarter
drying out after another summer afternoon shower.

It’s too hot and tips are too slow on Sundays,
and these tourists are cheap, nutless twits.

Like that old bitch in the store across the way.
She thinks I don’t see her snapping my photo for free?

Shit, I’ll look right at her and dare her to take another.
And now I’ll smile slow-like and pat my lap.

When she whirls around, my practiced cackle follows.
For fun, I scream: “Old woman, you can’t run from Death!” 

Weekly photo challenge: Edge


It was late August and I sat on a bench
on the edge of Narragansett Bay.

The day was edging toward evening
and these teens caught my eye.

They walked barefoot on the edge of summer.
Before September, school, schedules.

On the edge, the precipice of adulthood.
The end of something.

And I got up and started walking
and walking and walking.

Over the edge.


Here’s a link to other Weekly Photo Challenge posts:



Apple picking


So many are already rotting on the ground.
Flies buzz. The sun beats down.
The too-sweet smell rises.

But branches still bear their abundance.
And we gather the sweet fruit with abandon.
One more, just one more.

Even amid this ruin we fill our pails.
It is the way of we live our days. Picking, choosing.
Deciding when enough is enough.


Weekly photo challenge: Rare

I took this photo while I was driving down a country road in southeastern Iowa a few weeks ago. I drove by and turned around to take this photo because the mailbox looked so much like the one my dad created on our farm so long ago in northwestern Iowa. I’d never see another like it — ever.

I felt as if my dad was riding along with me at that moment. Like we did when I visited in the last years before he died. 

He’d tell me to drive somewhere, and he’d recall who used to live on that gravel road. And then I’d turn a corner and ask who lived on the next abandoned farm place — only to find him sleeping.