April 2020 - Issue No. 10
Immediate Action Required
It’s 100 seconds to midnight
with nuclear arms re-normalized and
climate change addressed by fine speeches,
while on the home front
I feel the coldness of these wars
with a divorce that’s close to final.
Perhaps I should petition the Bulletin
for our own metaphor backed
by scientific scrutiny, because a clock
seems too delicate. Maybe it can be a snake
that hatches in our kitchen, until it grows
and strangles us both over breakfast —
perhaps bulging eyes would be adequate
to help us see what we can’t.
But she is not interested in discussing vulnerabilities
and I am not open to acting on them.
I read the warning letter to her, and she remains
unconcerned about possible apocalypses
big and small. What we can agree on is
we worry most about the kids.
And how will they focus,
she asks behind an exfoliating mask,
with year-long scorching summers
and a distracted dad? Always off
searching for something in the dry brush
likely to catch fire before midnight arrives.
BIO: KG Newman is a sportswriter who covers the Broncos and Rockies for The Denver Post. His first three collections of poems are available on Amazon. The Arizona State University alum is on Twitter @KyleNewmanDP and more info and writing can be found at kgnewman.com. He lives in Castle Rock, Colorado, with his wife and two kids.
I buried him in the backyard one night after a rainstorm. The soil I removed from the hole was thick and sticky and clung stubbornly to the surface of my shovel.
I connected the hose to the backyard spigot and used it to clean off the shovel. Then I took a bar of soap I brought with me and washed my hands and arms up to my elbows. It was close to midnight and I knew I should go to bed. But I thought I owed him a memorial of sorts. Where to start?
The scrapbook. I often saw him leafing through it. I knew where he kept it even though he usually waited until I was out of the room before retrieving it. I turned to the first page. It was blank.
All of the pages were blank.
I fanned the pages several times, but couldn’t find a single photograph.
The diary. I remembered he kept it in the top drawer of the buffet under the stack of fancy china dishes I had inherited from my mother.
Empty. Every page, blank. I could see him in this very spot, pretending to read from those blank pages.
There was one story he repeated several times. Desiree. Desiree, he would say, his eyes staring straight ahead at the sound of her name. She would come to him in his dreams, said this boy whose mind was flush with imagination and discovery.
“Tell me a story,” she would coo. ...
Best Laid Plans
Every year shortly before spring, the Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co. catalog shows up on my doorstep. The cover is plastered with a WARNING label in big black letters informing me that if I don’t order now, this will be my last catalog. It also has coupons: $100 off with an order of $200 or more. Who can’t afford to save $100?
Being the good consumer that I am, I sit down with my catalog and start planning my garden for the summer. Have I ever successfully grown a garden? Nope. Will I be successful this year? Not likely. I start out with good intentions which quickly fade once the precious little seedlings sprout and are crowded out by weeds. Oh sure, the first dandelions pull out easily enough, but then life gets in the way, and by the time I remember to go outside and check the garden, the pesky invaders have turned into full-grown weeds and the precious Gurney’s seeds have all been choked to death. But I can grow a good weed!
I have even gone so far as to start the seedlings in the house weeks before planting them. I follow the instructions and spread the requisite number of seeds per square inch and make sure they have sunshine and warmth. They slowly break free from the soil and reach for the light. I wait until the last frost is past and transplant them outside, where they slowly die off and shrivel...