Weekly feature by: Sissy Buckles

It starts with the
little things.
Your dog’s ear
no matter how
well meaning
as Sisyphus or
how much
gentian purple mix
you pour into that
swollen canal
but the white
smelly stuff
keeps on
pouring out
or take a simple thing
like cockroaches
you try everything
cleaning like a maniac
and every morning
you continue to see the
bitsy bugs scattering
madly on the
desolate counter
like Kerouac’s carcass
of a mouse at Big Sur
his first kill — “it looked
at me with ‘human’
fearful eyes” and
all this gets you
meditating on
real Self-Reliance
and Emerson’s edict
that we must take
ourselves for better
for worse
(as his/her portion)
like this woman my sister
met in Austin an
original Arcadian lived
across from the crazy
hot rodder’s place
in a big old rambler
away back out in the
hill country
she’d had food saved
for four years
along with a 500 gallon
water tank
on the property
just in case the Zombie
Apocalypse really
comes down
and get this, she keeps
AK’s in every room
of her ancient
turn of the century
rambler, even in the
bathroom for reals,
I guess she had
some issues
with the Government
at one point but of course
not really polite
to ask the details
my mama didn’t teach
me much but
she sure taught
me manners
like the nice family
who lives
down the block
from me now in a
two story frame house.
The mother vacuums
the beige shag
merino wool rug
every day
she gets down
on her knees and
pulls at the nap
with her fingers
so it’s perfectly
standing up.
Every day.
Of course they
never wear shoes
in the house.
Their bed is
perfectly made
not a wrinkle
you could bounce
a quarter
off the spread
and at night
the mother and father
sleep on the floor
so they don’t
mess it up.

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