Daily Archives: July 8, 2013

“Arise & Shine” by Wayne F. Burke

a slow poke to China in a sore
I shouldered on all night
soldier boy-ing
on the good ship Lollipop
going nowhere
in the Irish stew
of myself
thinking if only
but knowing it could not be other
and slept
feeling forsaken
and woke to nothing
more or
less and
got on with it
the business of so-called life
bare feet on
the kitchen floor
linoleum of life
carpet of the poor
I padded to the plant
in the corner and
looked out at the clouds
and took the rope off
I'd put on like a turtleneck
and flew out the door
like a buttercup
through a meadow of daisies.

“The Days of Our Lives” by Wayne F. Burke

Grandma watches As the World Turns
as Gramp strolls through the living
room; his black garters hold up black
socks, white t-shirt, golfer's hat at
a rakish angle; he stops in the doorway,
looks in, says "all that damn woman does
is watch television," and turns away,
jingling loose change in the pocket of
his Bermuda shorts. Gramp liked best to
be outside; had spent forty years cooped
inside a bar; he took me, my brother Mitch,
plus Uncle albert, fly fishing on the
Deerfield River: Mitch cast a caught a
whopper--Uncle Albert, by the shoulder.
Gramp walked into the stream, hip-high
wading boots on, fell and went under.
End of trip. Later, I went up the notch
brook with rod and reeled in a ten inch
rainbow trout and brought it home to
Grandma who cleaned and cooked it while
Uncle Albert stared at me like he hated
my guts, which he did: mine and his own,
and others... Resentful, bitter, too late
he was for things his sister and brother
got, like attention; he was the rotten
baby of his family, his talents, like
himself, ignored; his face become sepulchral.

“As the Worm Turns” by Wayne F. Burke

Just wrote 59 words and
am shooting for 59 more
and am 58 years old, four
years younger than Gramp
when he cashed in the chips
while lying in bed, a 'hospital'
bed that was elevated by
a crank at the foot, because
he had apnea along with
cancer, high BP, asthma, a
bunch of stuff; he was lucky
to make it long as he did;
he tried out a red convertible
the year he died, drove us kids,
me, my brother, and the two
Baguette brothers, to Mossert's
Beach and while we stood on the
beach Gramp ripped a fart and
Donny Baguette laughed like it
was the funniest thing he'd ever
heard. I pulled a sucker fish
from the river that day; it bit
and I felt the tug and weight of
the thing and I heave-hoed the
pole and the fish come out of the
water like it had decided to jump
out the river. Gramp buried the
sucker in the garden to fertilize
flowers Grandma planted. The Baguettes
were going to the state park one day
and told me to come with them and I
ran to get my suit and towel but when
I got back they'd already left. Mr.
Baguette was "odd" like Grandma said,
because he would not look at anyone or
answer when said "hello" to--Mrs. Baguette
walked around in her underwear; Donny
later became an RN like his mother but the
youngest sister went into the nut house,
and Charlie, who was my age, and nut house
material too, became a computer programmer.
Gramp bought steel poles and had them tied
to the backyard fence--for the basketball
court he was going to have built in the
driveway--but the poles never moved off the
fence; they hung for years and rusted, and
anytime I wanted to play basketball I had
to go to the Garibaldi's across the street
and used the court in their back yard. In
my senior year of high school I made the team
but did not play much and lost confidence so
that by the end of the season I did not want
to play anymore and I blamed it all on Gramp
because of those stupid poles he never put up,
like he said he would.