Friday, June 24, 2011

Weekly Worded



    The temperature was supposed to climb to a hundred degrees, so I unfolded my two
inner tubes, inflated them, and headed for the river.  Along the highway I spotted a hitchhiker, his thumb extended like a valve stem.
    “Hop in, where are you headed?”
    “I’m headed north, where my girlfriend lives.”
    “Ah” I said, winking, “so you’re in a hurry.”
    “Not really, she dumped me last week.  I just want to see what the other guy looks like.”
    “So, technically she’s not your girlfriend?”
    “Nope, you’re right, she’s my ex-girlfriend.”
    “It might be instructive for you to take a run with me down the rapids in one of those inner tubes?”
    I gestured with my own thumb toward the bed of the pickup.  He eyed my plan but declined.  Water made him nervous.  At the spot where I usually launch, I pulled off.
    “This is where I float.”
    He watched me from the road while I lashed my tubes together, slathered sun block on my skin and climbed down the bank to the water.
    “Last chance” I called up to him, “If you die your ex-girlfriend will feel real bad.”
    I know he wanted to jump in but his pack hung from one hand like an anchor.
    “An inner tube is as safe as a condom” I shouted.
    I pushed off and he watched me drift away from the bank, out into the current, ignoring a dozen possible rides, his thumb half-cocked, pointing toward his shoes.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Weekly Worded


Peasant At Rest

A good way into the evening,
after the sun has set
but while the horizon still bleeds
its report of the day,

he stands beside the road
at the edge of his lot
listening to irrigation water 
trace its signature in mud.

Half a hundred cattails
crowd into the ditch
to witness the signing,
their stalks straight,

their brown bearskin helmets
like British palace guards
commanded to attention.
Under a canopy of willows

the night gathers its militia.
This peace will be brief,
the dog next door
still hasn’t had its say.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Weekly Worded

Close As Possible

If one life ends
as another begins,

we are no closer
to finding the hand of God

in anything we hope to touch,
except in the hand

we held,
in the hand we hold.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weekly Worded

Partial Service

    “I’d like to ship this package, please.”
    “Certainly.  How badly do you want it to arrive?”
    “Standard shipping will be fine.”
    “So you don’t care about the person who’s receiving it?”
    “Of course I care.”
    “Standard shipping is no way to show you care.”
    “What would you recommend?”
    “Our Bubbles & Hugs package mailer.”
    “What’s that?”
    “Your merchandise is wrapped in a thin layer of plastic bubbles that when popped release a chemically engineered scent of your pheromones.”
    “But I’m sending this to my sister!”
    “Oh, that might be awkward.  May I recommend our triple upgrade.”
    “I just want it to arrive in good condition.”
    “Our triple upgrade guarantees that.  The first upgrade makes sure it’s on the correct truck, the second upgrade discourages abusive drivers from handling your delivery, and the third upgrade triples your shipping cost.”
    “Why would I want to triple my cost?”
    “To show you care, in a non-awkward way.”
    “I’ll stick with standard shipping.”
    “That will be fifty dollars, without insurance.”
    “Fifty dollars?  How much with insurance?”
    “A hundred.”
    “I’ll drive it there myself for a hundred dollars.”
    “Excellent.  If you’ll back up to the loading dock before leaving, we have a few other packages going in your direction.”