Biker at the Drugstore
It’s a very busy drug store
with seats along the wall
where folks who wait for refills
sit and sometimes chat
but as I discover you can
leave the store worse off
than when you walk in.
The fellow next to me's
a biker as his attire says,
a red bandana around his head
a black leather jacket with
zippers dashing everywhere.
I’ve never met a biker
but everything is fine until
he presses something in his neck
and says his vocal chords
were harvested by cancer.
I lie and say I understand
but then he adds he's been told
he now has liver cancer.
He’s picking up some meds
he hopes will let him live.
The doctor says six months.
Again I lie and say I understand
but who am I to understand.
I’ve never had cancer.
I tell my wife later, next to
marrying her, the smartest thing
I’ve ever done was quit two packs
a day and vodka straight
no chaser on the weekends.
That was 50 years ago.
She says marrying her was
nowhere near the smartest thing.
Quitting all that stuff was better.
I suspect my biker friend
if he had another chance
at life would join me.
A sense of shame is
missing in the world today.
If you find it, burp
Homer's a chair arranger who
works in meeting rooms
on 30 floors in a building
tall as Trump Tower.
At least it looks that tall to him
getting off the subway
half asleep at 4 a.m.
Setting up a banquet is
the toughest job for Homer.
Long tables and many chairs
take all morning to set up
all afternoon to take down.
He works alone by choice.
Doing so is job security.
But no one wants his job,
not even young Jason,
who steps in for Homer when
he has to take a vacation.
That’s when Homer warns Jason
chair arranging is like life.
What goes up must come down.
And both can happen quickly.
Solos Only On My Tuba
Do I write in the third person
or only in the first?
Do my ideas reign supreme
or do other ideas work as well?
Do I know I’m always right
or can someone else be right too?
Do I play solos only on my tuba
or do I play in the band as well?
At Least Now I Can Say Goodbye
Someday you’ll be in bed dying
like I am now and people you love
and some you don't will come by
to say good-bye. They don’t know
what to say because we’re all amateurs
at dying, no experience required.
All I know is that I’ll be leaving
any day now and my visitors know
some day they’ll be leaving too
but unlike me they don’t know when.
Not knowing when would scare me more.
At least now I can say goodbye.
A Slaughterhouse Escape
A tractor trailer with slats and moos
pulls up at a city slaughterhouse.
The driver pulls the wrong lever
and two thousand pounds
of trotting cattle go for an easy
ramble down the street.
Cop cars follow in no hurry.
Police don’t have lassos and
wouldn't know how to use them.
The cattle stop for a snack in a park
where homeless men and women often
spend the day on benches talking
until the cops decide to round them up.
The homeless people eye the cattle
and the cattle munch and eye the homeless.
This is the last escape for the cattle
but homeless people never know if
tomorrow or the next day could be theirs.