“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.