NOTE: It is always advisable to enlarge your screen to 150%
Where I like to stay on my upcoming annual drive
Holocaust Survivor's Teddy Bear
"What is potato-thwocking?"
It is another art practiced
wherever Waukesha Dixes gather
-one or two - wear their hats
and ingest food gracefully.
The potatoes first of all have to be
prepared and mashed just right,
as Mother Denise skillfully knows how to do.
Next, a well-rehearsed partaker
takes an imaginary practice swing
with a genetically supple wrist,
then dips the serving spoon into
the whipped mass just so
and deftly flings it at the waiting plate.
The properly mixed and tufted
spoonful will separate downward
and thwock onto the plate;
yes, a crater forms in the motion
before the diner, who, hungry,
will find this proper white mixture
automatically awaiting a ladle
of good gravy placed within.
from recycled material
Heart-shaped note paper
and finer stationary is available at Plowshares
on Main Street in downtown Waukesha,
a district of seething and churning shops.
We love the elephant dung recycled papers
sold there from Sri Lanka.
Turtle in the Road
we must do on the refrigerator, when my daughter
and I found a turtle in the road. He was not gentle
or shy, not properly afraid of the cars that swerved
around his mistake. I thought I might encourage him
towards safety with a stick but each time I touched
his tail he turned fiercely to show me what he thought
of my prodding. He had a raisin head, the legs of
a fat dwarf, the tail of a dinosaur. His shell was a deep
green secret he had kept his whole life. I could not tell
how old he was but his claws suggested years of
reaching. I was afraid to pick him up, afraid of the way
he snapped his jaws, but I wanted to help him return
to the woods which watched him with an ancient
detachment. I felt I understood him because I didn't
want to move either; I was tired of going from one place
to another: the introductions, the goodbyes. I was sick
of getting ready, of unpacking, of mail sent to places
where I used to live. At last I put my stick away
and left him to decide which direction was best.
If I forced him off the road he might return later.
My daughter and I stood awhile, considering him.
He was a traveler from the time of reptiles, a creature
who wore his house like a jacket. I don't know
if he survived his afternoon in the road; I am still
thinking of the way his eyes watched me go.
I can't forget his terrible legs, so determined
to take him somewhere, his tail which pointed
behind him at the dark spaces between the trees.