Without Cain

Without Cain to keep him in line,
the white, Southern scarecrow isn’t
Abel and just blows in the wind,
“Lynchin’, of course, it is a Lynchin’,”
the Carolina cracker says through
swollen cheeks and baggy eyes
or a really big hangover in unctuous,
servile support of the occupant’s
claim that his impeachment inquiry
is a lynching while the straw blows
out of his servile arms and the blackbirds
pluck out his eyes and his thick,
southern drawl tongue and he’s
left looking like a used car lot
crazy air balloon figure “blowin’
in the wind.”

Fighting Back from the Living Room

The TV host, back on after a brief sabbatical
for health reasons, picked right up where he

left off — rudely interrupting his guests. Two
guests fought back by trying to continue talk-

ing through the interruptions while the viewer
tried unsuccessfully to shout down the host

from his living room, leather recliner, which he
pushed back into a more supine posture for

relief and relaxation after failing to get the host
to be quiet and let the guest finish a sentence.

Shedding a Tear

He didn’t want the other team to win but
on fourth and four, the other team’s quarter-

back threw right down the middle into the
end zone into the arms of the receiver and

the ball slipped right through, right through
even in unmerciful, brutal slow motion.

His team went on to win but he grieved
for the kid on the other team who couldn’t

hold onto the ball to tie the game and
leave it to others to decide the outcome.

As it is, the kid sat on the sidelines crying
his eyes out and the hard-bitten, old man

who had experienced his fair share of sorrow
shed a tear, too.

A Stiff Neck

So, he’s been suffering from a
stiff neck for about a week and
it is starting to get to him because
he is an active guy who likes to

jog and ride a bike. He doesn’t
know how it happened, maybe
on a bike ride, the cooler fall air
blowing down his neck under his

jacket, maybe when he drenched
the sheets and they got real cold
and he woke up in that freezing,
soggy mess, maybe some other

way. All he knows is that it is hard
to swallow and he begins to think
his sore neck muscles are beginn-
ing to squeeze his voice box be-

cause his voice is now harsh and
not only won’t he be able to swall-
ow, he won’t be able to breathe
and he will die a slow, excruciating

death calling out for help with a
gravelly whisper no one would hear
and then he thinks he should put the
heating pad back on his neck and

that even though it isn’t five, he
would like to have about three
ounces of that new potato vodka
which he can pretty much let slide

down without having to experience
the pain of a hard swallow but then
he wonders what would happen if
it goes down the wrong hole and

he suffocates that way. He goes
for the vodka anyway, supports
his head with his hand and lets
it slide right on down — the right hole.

A Young Whitetail

I know it is a cliche conjuring images
of The Night Before Christmas, but
there is a reason there was a Dancer
and a Prancer; it is because to our minds
deer dance and prance, hop, skip and
jump just like the young whitetail did
this morning. Yes, a young whitetail
just danced and pranced… entering my
field of vision from east to west down
the street. Is a runner coming by? No,
goodness, it’s a whitetail dear dancing
and prancing. She (Why am I thinking she?)
hopped, skipped and jumped revealing an
exuberance. She stopped just before leaving
my field of vision, looked both ways as
if expecting traffic and then “pranced” on.
Where was her family — mom, dad, brothers,
sisters? Was she taking those first steps
toward independence? Was she having fun
or was she frightened or both? She gave
me the gift of her unexpected Saturday
morning presence and for a moment as I sat
looking out the window in my chair behind
my desk, my heart danced and pranced with her.

The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings (January 18, 1951 – October 17, 2019)

He died
mid-stride
in the most important
governmental ride
since Nixon’s slide.
He checked everyone’s pride
in stride
and would chide
those who sought to hide
behind misplaced political pride.
In hospice, on his death bed,
he tried
to provide
care for victimized
children by issuing
subpoenas
to keep the children
at the border alive
and help them thrive.
Long ago he did decide
to follow the gospel ride,
justice to provide.
His reputation is worldwide
and his future in God’s grace
is well testified.
Thank you, Brother Elijah,
good and faithful servant.

Four-Thirty In the Morning

At four-thirty in the morning,
he sits in his white, cotton
underpants on the edge of

the bed, his flabby body
shifting this way and that,
his gynecomastia (with large,

elongated nipples pointing
downward) spilling out and
resting on a protruding,

distended belly, fat rolling
over the top of his shorts.
Orange hair streams down

his face, over his ears and
around the base of his neck
revealing white, doughy, bald-

ness on the top of his scared
head. He brushes the hair
away from his eyes and eyes

himself in the mirror. He looks
away quickly in utter disgust
and then he angrily grabs his

phone on the bed stand and
goes on a twitter rampage.

Journeying

I stand,
sometimes run
for the fun,
sometimes step
gingerly,
sometimes
haltingly,
sometimes
hike
quickly,
sometimes
slowly,
sometimes
skip,
sometimes
trip,
sometimes
stall,
sometimes
fall,
sometimes
cycle
rapidly,
sometimes
slowly
all while
journeying
through the
metaphors
and similes
of the forest
and woods
and the trees
(I love to stop
and hug.)
of love’s
eternal
mystery.