By C.H. Coleman


Feel delicious? Okay!
“Decadent,” say it,
think: herding happiness
isn’t always enjoyable.

One button too far on
a billowy blouse reveals
enough already – two, now
an interstate billboard,

augments valley viewing.
Obvious, but not obnoxious.
Enough already! Walking
a third time through creates

an emblazoned image, finally
dots his eyes on crossing t’s.
Confidence? Wobbly legs, his
welcomed mouth opens,

“Hi. I’m…”


Down the hill
at tree-canopied road’s end,
there’s a boat launch,
where many tire tracks show
where many journeys have begun,
and a rickety dock beside it.

At the end of the dock
a lure could be cast a mile
or farther or closer
or wherever in this world
any angler wills it to go.

Out early on my second day,
I feel the old codger’s boots
stamp stamp stamp, coming
forth to where my feet dangle
above the still water.

His white mane captured
beneath his billed ball cap,
lips part between a face
full of white facial hair.
He whistles all the way
tweeting Amazing Grace,
a songbird’s song, early spring –

like winter’s finally over,
like the seasons, I am reborn.
The old codger’s on his way
to teach me how to cast my line: 
how far, how when, how where
to begin being in my new life.

A Better Education

You’re going to school,
my father said, as he pulled
warm sheets and blankets
from my single bed.

You’re going to school,
said my mother, as she pulled
a pillow from beneath a dream
playing in my sleepy head.

Stiff as an iron statue
lacking liberty, I figured
no use arguing my case,
I alighted in fast stead.

That musical’s famous song,
it’s a hard luck life for kids,
who can’t get adults to follow,
always the ones being led.

My imagination of adulthood
resembles a Christmas poem,
delicious, sugary sugar plum
dancers dressed purply red.

Mom ‘n Dad forgot that school
sucks joy from kids’ lives,
only the geekazoids benefit
from great books not read.

Shoved outside in winter,
gloves, scarf, slice of bread.
Meander to the bus stop,
other kids too seem dead.

You’re not going to school,
for sure I’ll tell my own kids,
pulling covers around them
as I tuck them in their beds.

You’re not going to school,
I’ll promise to those kids.
Daddy thinks better you stay
home and play hooky instead.

Baby Poem [otherwise untitled]

You’re pregnant.
Ignorance earned us
a six-week head start.
And now we must decide
on whether or not we’ll opt
to proceed. You tried when you
were married and nothing ever took.
I prayed for extermination and the other
she agreed with me and we parted almost
parents. But never really were a couple ever
again. But here you and I are, together we
are pregnant with a six-week head start
and we had always thought you could
not and we knew that I could and 
now we’re on the verge of break
up, but now we’re in this, a team
and you start thinking of names
and I think you’re right and we
agree we’re gonna have a baby.