Open Carry

Babies, ice cream cones, umbrellas, cell phones, walking sticks,
Groceries, the newspaper, a fresh pizza, flowers for the one you love,
Car keys, a purse, pen and paper, a snack, reading glasses,
A book, two books, a Bible, a pair of gloves, lip balm, a lipstick,
Bicycle helmet, a hairbrush, gum and breath mints, a hand mirror,
Earbuds and a pocket watch, a penknife, nail clippers,
Camera, screwdriver, hammer and pliers, a wrench,
Flip-flops and a towel, a folding chair, a handkerchief,
Which is a very strange word when you look at it,
A Leatherman, another strange word, but we got used to it

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Bully

Barely standing, he pushes people over
with harsh words soaked in a menacing tone
that occasionally trembles when a bit of phlegm
catches in his throat.

You better believe in Jesus when he corners you,
or be ready to.

You better be ready to give him your full attention,
or his feeble voice will boom, and his face will redden
as it moves closer to yours.

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Self Portrait with No Wrinkles

A bowl of just picked tomatoes.
Deep green basil growing in a pot.
Yellow sun on yellow plates.
Showered body in a crisp shirt.
Shiny shoes.
Pants other than sweats.
Cello proficiency.
Window overlooking the sea.
Twelve devilled eggs waiting.
A friend request from Bob Dylan.
Pink vintage rose blooms all year.
No haircut needed.
No dust.
Loved by everyone.
Peak of health.
Rosy future.
No self-deception.

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Confluence

The cowboy entered on a gray horse. Wearing a white Stetson,
with tan hands, and tight jeans. He rode up to a Walmart
in Eagle Point, Oregon to buy dog food. He heard
a woman scream, pointing to a young man riding off
on her bike. The cowboy cantered after the bike thief,
threw his lasso, brought the kid down, tied him
to a tree and called a policeman who thought
the capture was totally slick.

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Breakfast Club

Orion’s slow tumble from winter’s black
announces our day’s sunup meal, the birds and me;
finches are first to pick-peck fall’s bounty.
Sagging branched apples offer their exposed flanks
to the songbirds’ mixed tape this December morn’.
Flap-flitting from appled branch to next sweet tidbit.
A furtive dance of
jab, glance, nibble, glimpse.

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God and the Wheel

The rainbow wheel spinning
I curse at waiting for the folder to open
looks exactly like it feels
when I’m trying to finish one quick thing
and my husband is calling me to dinner.

If you’re spinning the wheel God
I should not be cursing
at the revelation appearing on my screen
praising the colors throwing off light

a personal prayer wheel
chanting Om mane padme hum
every time it appears
heralding what’s in the machine

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Sanctus

I doubt your existence
not your suffering

In your tall houses I have seen you
the site of execution

your electric throne

and lofty stone arches exquisitely formed
echoing your screams

Walking this morning barefoot in the garden
I watched your handiwork

a green bottle fly

resting its metallic halo
on a leaf of my beloved apple tree

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Assault

I snap the book shut,
try to erase his grim words,
but I can’t escape.
Even a trip to the store
is horrifying. I watch

as a lady thumps
a melon, caresses it,
lowers an ear to
its veiny flesh, and heaves it
into her cart with a grunt.

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