fifteen

He stands in the kitchen facing the window
open to the back yard
and pours the 200 degree water over 20 grams of coffee grounds
picks a red chopstick out of the silverware drawer
and stirs
one-one-thousand
I always hated counting by “mississippi”
two-one-thousand
I need to clean up the yard
three-one-thousand
Iris is standing near her coop
she is clucking louder than usual and it sounds funny
Like she’s calling out
four-one-thousand
I think she knows we lost Bo last night
five-one-thousand
This is the third attack Iris has survived
six-one-thousand
When the raccoons took Petunia she hid in the lavender tree
when they dragged Billy over the fence and into the cedar trees
they left a trail of gore and feathers
but Iris just hid in the juniper bush
today there were feathers everywhere
as soon as I stepped out the door and saw a spot of feathers I knew
and wondered if they had gotten Iris this time
Bo’s body was by the stump
half-eaten
and Iris was just hiding in the tall grass
hunkered down
last night I should have locked them up
but we baked cookies
for the bake sale we are having at Jason’s wake
practice cookies so I can get the recipe right
my daughter made peanut butter kisses and I made
chocolate chip cookies the size of your hand
After the bake she said
“I hope Jason likes the cookies”
I paused
I didn’t know how else to tell her
she was going to find out on Friday anyway
so I just said Jason has passed
“a lot of your friends are dying”
she said leaning back on the couch
and looking away out the window
“it’s scary”
she had come with me to Randy’s wake last month
and met his widow Cam
as we were getting ready to leave
she told Cam “I’m sorry. This must be very hard for you.”
fourteen-one-thousand
I have to tell her about Bo the chicken now too
I liked Bo
she was a sweet chicken
fifteen-one-thousand
He presses the plunger
any longer and the coffee would start to turn bitter
any less and the coffee would be watery

Qq

16 comments

  1. Sometimes TIm, I honestly think you are wasting away words writing about Arsenal.

    1. I like to think of poetry as just short stories shortened.

      Robert Frost and Raymond Carver did that a lot.

  2. Among my favourites are Ted Hughes and Emily Dickinson. And now Tim / 7 am Kickoff? Will wonders never cease?

    Nicely done.

  3. Thank you for sharing the place you are in. I’ll be re reading this when I make my coffee this morning

  4. Good stuff indeed – ‘no ideas but in things’. Have you read Jim Harrison’s poetry, Tim?

  5. Bravo!

    I hope you write non-arsenal stuff every day.

    I hope you read your work in public from time to time.

    I hope you think about submitting this for publication because I think it speaks to our modern plague.

    1. And it’s definitely a plague. Latest figures show 59,000 to 65,000 drug over dose deaths in 2016, more Americans than were killed in Vietnam. It’s shocking.

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