The Logical Poem-Story

Eons ago in a fathomless destitute crime-ridden inner city
far, far away-Chicago-we met in a vacant lot overgrown
with the most wretched of devil weeds-gnarled, tangled,
twisted stems like steel cables intertwined, seized ankles,
ripped shoes off mid-stride, threw children to the ground;

grasshoppers the size of finger-fat tootsie rolls hugged
tall stalks, shifted around away from intruders, jumped
blind in free flight withersoever they would go to smack
into whatever they hit and to cling with sticky barbed legs
wherever they landed, my nose and ears included.

We discussed the greater matters of life as most kids do,
like where you might come out if you dug a hole through
the earth-Paul said China, I shook my head no; Bob said
China, Christy said it, my brother said it, Cathy said it,
all said China-mad that I shook my head no. Ran home
whining-he won’t believe us-got the adults involved.

Mrs. Shuzack said it, my mom even dared to say it, and
there in the midst of the black cracked asphalt street,
John’s dad shook a rough knuckled finger in my face,
his sad eyes strained behind hedge row brows, and
declared boldly before all-they come out in China.

Then some school teachers strolling home agreed, like
buzzing bees together, that if we dug a hole through the
earth, we’d come out in China; a few park officials, sharp
and smart in their steam-starch-pressed green uniforms
bearing pointed polished badges, nodded to me to give it
up, as if that were the noble or honorable thing to do.

Someone finally asked me why I shook my head no, so
I smiled and said, “Don’t you know, if you dig a hole
through the earth, you come to the molten core and die.”

That was the end of that.

■ ~ ■ ~ ■

Published in Dropping Ants into Poems, NavWorks Press, 2017
Available worldwide and at reduced price at the Curio Bookstore
ISBN: 9781366548467


  1. jpenstroke said,

    August 11, 2017 at 5:33 am

    I love this..can feel the space between the characters…the space between reality and fantasy…

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