cows in heaven

i remember that when i was a young boy, my mother would drive our station wagon out to the country on our way back from church on sundays, and pull over on the backroads beside cow pastures. she’d get out of the car and start calling out, “come, boss, come boss.”

i still don’t know if was those special words, or the sound of my mom’s voice, or if she had some kind of affinity with cows, having been raised on a farm, but they always came to the fence, all of them, every time.

we would feed them handfuls of grass from the ditch.

i just hope there’s cows in heaven so my mom can still call them.

black like me

when my granddaughter milli

painted her doll’s face black

we all yelled at her for it;

now, after thinking about it

she’s the only black child

in our entire community

now i understand


now i understand


–photo by me

30 Oxymorons

When our teacher turned up missing one day, the only student teacher the school could find to fill in was Miss Hilo, a bittersweet young woman with a sad smile and an obvious absent presence; she had recently lost her husband, and was in ill health, but she was the only choice. Now then, when she walked into our classroom, she was greeted by a deafening silence.

The larger half of the class thought she was pretty ugly, with her plastic glasses, too tight slacks, and a dull shine in her eyes–to them, she was seriously funny, a tragic comedy, in fact. But to me, she seemed awfully nice, a woman of sweet sorrow, perhaps. She was trying so hard to act naturally, but she was clearly confused.

I invited her to have lunch with me. We ordered (genuine imitation) jumbo shrimp, but it was so dry from apparent freezer burns, we had to wash down every bite with a big sip of soda. I wondered if I could fall for her; it was a definite maybe.

When we came back to class alone together, a loud whisper broke out across the room, and I broke out in a cold sweat. What a fine mess!

Cu Later

In the beginning…

I was born

In the sour belly

Of a dying star

I was spat out

Like black bile

Into the inky void

Of nothingness

For eons, I existed

Alone, an outcast

Black bile

Yet, eventually

I met others

Like myself

Misfits, rejects

We huddled together

And formed bonds

After what seemed

Like an eternity

I was pulled up

Into the roots

Of an apple tree

I became

An essential part

Of a living apple

You know the rest

Of the story…