Winter 2009

Table of Contents - Vol. V, No. 4


Poetry    Translations    Non-Fiction    Fiction    Reviews   

Clay Carpenter


In the Park

I was walking my dog in the park one day
when something scampered in front of me
and I nearly tripped. As it floated away I saw
it was the words he likes her 4 a friend. ;-)

I thought it odd.

But before I could ponder it more, I
noticed another one snaking around
the edge of a jungle gym: Who’s going
to pay for mother’s care?
It slithered
around a swing set and disappeared.

It was then that I looked around and saw
words floating everywhere, high and low,
over picnic tables, through a basketball hoop
and between spokes of kids’ bikes as they
rode on the sidewalk. what kind of hamburger
helper do u want?
one string said.

I saw an OMG caught in a cottonwood,
until it wriggled loose. Two LOLs were
tangled on a slide, straining to break free.

one chain proclaimed and
scooted off into the distance. I noticed several wuz up????s.
Others were declarative: I’m in line at DMV
and The mayor’s tie has polar bears on it.

Feeling a little uncomfortable, I started walking
toward my car, when my eyes fixed on a chunk
of conversation sliding across the hood. I felt like an
eavesdropper. it’s YOURS. if you didn’t want this
you should have brought a condom. MAN UP.

I think I may have blushed a little.

I knew it was time to go home when one whipped
by me from behind, grazing my ear. I’m your niece,
for Christ’s sake! Your flesh and blood. How could
you do this to me?
It was followed by I’m sorry. I don’t
know what came over me. Don’t tell anyone, please.

Sweating, I got in my car with my dog, put my
hands on the wheel and closed my eyes for a second,
and when I opened them I was surprised to
see that all the words had disappeared.

I took a deep breath, turned the ignition, and started home.


© Clay Carpenter



Poetry    Translations    Non-Fiction    Fiction    Reviews   

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