The No-Joy Bad Luck Club
after another week at “the office,”
clockwatching when not coffee-breaking,
feeling the padded walls of their cubicles closing in on them,
and just bitching about Mondays (or the boss) in general,
they met at what they called The Chapel of Job—
that same Job who’d been punished for his faithfulness
for a bet God had struck with the devil.
And so, it came to pass
that when one of them played their lucky numbers,
hitting the jack of all pots,
the rest found themselves wishing
that this person’s unlucky number was up.
Well-endowed by her Creator,
with her complementary angles,
her right side congruent with her left,
she was quite an imaginary little number—
well in her prime.
Well-bred by her co-creators,
she was never negative or irrational,
her emotional intelligence quotient
more than or equal to those with
Well-informed by being self-informed,
never giving thought to the lowest common denominator,
her thinking was far from linear,
for her mind ranged from negative infinity to positive infinity
on the y-axis and x-axis.
She was going places where few would follow,
much less understand.
High school graduation night, Mr. Manatee’s, May 1999
Here if Needed: A Brief Auto-Bio of Feelings
Quick to cry if sleep-deprived
Pissy-pie if meal did not satisfy (i.e. vegetarian)
Humble pied if corrected
Fired up if rejected (for publication, not dates)
Feeling thin if wearing this
Feeling fat if wearing that
Hypertensive if working on malfunctioning machines
Simply hyper if on the retail scene
Gurgly if having eaten too fast
Giggly if slightly gassed
The Bridge That Took Walks in the Park
The last time they met,
M. knew it would be the last,
but he did not.
Lollygags had been her constant companion—
not a seeing-eye dog,
but a GPS for lasting love.
And when M. died,
leaving her beloved friend behind,
he picked up her care where M. had left off.
As one dog year passed,
it came to pass that Lolly led him to his second love,
after which the last remnant of his first
having served her masters well.
For she had been the thing
that had kept The Others away,
but the being that had brought The One
A Life, in 7 Days
Monday was recovering from the weekend,
Tuesday, recovering from Monday.
Wednesday got better as it got on.
Thursday was looking forward to Friday,
Friday being the day.
Saturday was recovering from Friday night.
Sunday was a day of rest–
a day to brood about Monday.
This Mother’s Praise
Her eyes lit up
as she tinkled on the potty,
exclaiming, “Good job!”
She looked to me
and I wondered
if it was prudent to praise
for every little thing.
Was my praise for something
akin to giving everyone a trophy?
But when I saw my child’s belief
like the bahiagrass after a summer rain—
I knew I had served her well.
like every other like thing—
reproduces after its own kind.
It is my sacred calling as her parent
to make her feel capable
of the little things,
for, in doing so,
I would make her feel capable
of the big things.
The sole survivor of the crash,
she found herself on the path of self-destruction–
“spared for a reason,” they said–
making her feel she had to be all that the others
might have been.
Yet when she let herself believe that the world was
a mass of organized chaos,
and that not everything that happened
was a part of some Big Plan,
she found the peace to move on.
She hadn’t been called to Heaven
to be one of God’s angels,
any more than she had been left behind
to be anyone’s angel.
Perhaps she wasn’t destined for greatness,
but she could have a great life,
and that alone,
would honor the dead.