"Murder in the Fields"
grandpa's hands were curiously calloused
even for a farmer
my own young fingers soft,
i tried his patience, learning too slowly
placement of seed along furrow
we paused at noon.
lunch was grandma's goodness
thick-as-a-board slices of white bread
fresh this morning from the woodstove,
garden vegetables from just beyond
her kitchen windows,
chocolate cake suffocating
under fresh cream
even the field mice answered the aromas
peeking cautiously over the embankments
one young, overly curious fellow
strayed too close and found himself
prisoner to grandpa's empty cup
delighted, i begged to keep this pet
watched grandpa's clear eyes go cloudy
full of anger and hate for the tiny destroyer
the cup lifted
unsure where safety lay
i stared disbelieving
as grandpa's boot
j.lewis is an internationally published poet, musician, and nurse practitioner. His poems have appeared online and in print in numerous journals from California to Nigeria to the UK. His first collection of poetry and photography was published in June 2016, and is available on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/clear-day-october-j-lewis/dp/168073055X). His chapbook is forthcoming from Praxis Magazine.
This isn’t like fixing a Monet after someone has punched it. Horrible things are happening. My foremost thought is, “I want macaroni and cheese next time. I haven’t had it in years.” All of a sudden EMTs rush past with a man on a stretcher, his face covered in blood and bite marks. I scream something – in terror, I suppose. The last time I was so unsteady was probably when my mother died. I feel like any minute now I might look up and see her in the window of a plane
waving. A policewoman orders me to move along. And I was just about to ask, “What advice do you have for young people?” It was only a couple of days ago that some kids grabbed a classmate and persuaded him with fists and sticks and colorful arguments that one eye is enough.
"Are You Fucking Kidding Me?"
Groups of friends arrive on the hour every hour. A guard with the enflamed eyes of a drunk demands identification from them, but in a voice too faint to hear. You need to be patient at this stage. People don’t remember and sometimes I think they don’t even understand where they are. Cows roam around with butcher knives in their backs to make slaughtering easier. There are countless dead rabbits. A fly can't land on a fruit tree without first begging permission. So I just
sit here with my mouth open, I do, because I’m getting older now, and it’s hard work.
Howie Good is the author of The Loser's Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize and forthcoming from Thoughtcrime Press, and Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry.