Open Carry

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,
Sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, loose change,
A cigarette, a pipe, a tin of dip, a Sharpie, an Allen Wrench, registered
Trademark of the Allen Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut,
Circa 1910, when my father was first registered,
A man who carried many of these things in the open, but never
A long rifle, across a parking lot, toward the door of a supermarket.


Rick Kuenning is a versatile, caring, domestic man. He translates lifelong writing and teaching experience into poems informed by a quick and innovative sensibility. His work reflects a keen interest in art, culture, religious studies, and draws on a long career in international relations and national policy. He writes with depth and variety; cultural criticism and political censure are leavened with whimsical reflection and lyrical meditations on the natural world. He is an expatriate who lives in Europe immersed in diverse cultures, finding connections while viewing the world through his American identity. He reads widely, enjoys cooking, and listens to classical and popular music. His creativity is often sparked by dialogue with other poems. He is awed by nature, angered by injustice, and moved by the stories of those whose voices are not heard.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s