thorn

in the poppy bed
there’s a stubborn weed
i never can seem to kill

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clean

i finally got my feet washed.
they were sore from a day
of running and standing still,
of impatience and veiled pride,
and i wondered, as i sat in the pew,
whether the one who washed them
would be able to smell the sweat
from my socks and shoes.

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a beautiful thing

it was mid-morning
when I noticed the reek.
i glanced around cautiously,
wondering what could have
sent up such a stink — and then
i saw my hand, sticky with
yellow sap, and smelling
to high heaven. sickened,
i squirted sanitizer on my hands
in hopes that would take the
stench away, but to no avail.
not even soap and water completely
did the trick; I could sense the smell
even after washing as well as I could.

it was probably evening
when she broke the bottle;
she did it at the dinner table
in full view (and scent) of everyone.

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the only son (and his mother)

i read about a mother
who had an only son
cut down in his prime,
just north of 33.
she stood at his graveside
weeping, watering
the freshly-dug earth
with her tears, waiting.

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