Monday, September 21, 2020

The Lost Lamb

When the flock realized

That the lamb was lost

They mobilized immediately


That means they got to work

Trying to find

The littlest member of their group


The older sheep directed

The not-so-old sheep

About which parts of the valley

Needed to be search


The lost lamb

Was not the first lamb

To get lost

But all lambs

Seemed to be fond of

Walking down into the valley

By themselves

Called by some unseen voice

That could only be heard

By the youngest

Of the flock


The not-so-old sheep

Headed to the three valleys

Of the land

While the older sheep

Asked the not-very-old-at-all sheep

To check the forest

But to stay together

As it was even easier

To get lost in the forest

Than it was to get lost in the valley

And more lost sheep

Would mean more work

For everyone else


After the First Valley was searched

It was discovered

That while there was no lost lamb down there

There was beautiful grass

Growing all along the river

Than ran through the valley

And the sheep were glad to know about it

Since they were always looking

For new grazing spots


The lamb’s mother

Was very upset

At the thought that sheep

Were discussing grass along a river

While her poor lamb was missing

But the older sheep took her aside

And told her

That they were only talking about some pleasant

Because they were all so upset

That the lamb might be in danger


In the Second Valley

Their fears were founded

When they ran into a pack of coyotes

Who snapped at the lambs

That made up the Second Valley search party

But before things could get too scary

Sam the Sheepdog came running

And bared his teeth

At the coyotes

Who knew better than to mess with

The wildest sheepdog in the land


Once the coyotes were banished

Sam joined the search

For the lost lamb

And soon he was running

Through all seventeen

Of the fields on the farm

To see if the lamb was napping somewhere

And couldn’t hear

Its family and friends calling to him


In the Third Valley

The sheep found tracks

That looked very small

And they thought

They had finally found

Their lost lamb

But relief soon turned sour

As they found that the tracks

Walked right into

A dark and dirty lake

Where it was impossible

To see down further

More than a foot or so


The sheep, not willing to give up,

Grabbed onto each other

And formed a chain


Then they walked into the water

Holding tight

So that they could pull back

If anything went wrong


The water dark green and murky

But not very deep

And the sheep were able

To walk almost to the middle

When they heard a barking


Sam the Sheepdog had found something


The sheep shook themselves dry

As they had learned from Sam to do

And ran to the seventeenth field

Where Sam was standing

Next to the little lost lamb

Who had, indeed, fallen asleep

Without telling anyone

Where he was going


When he was reunited with his mother

And the rest of the flock

The sheep returned to their corral

Where the farmer stood amazed

That the sheep and the sheepdog

Had done all that

Just to find one little lamb


But the sheep knew

That a flock cannot be a flock minus twenty

Or ten

Or even one of its members


The agreement to care for each other

Is what makes it a flock

And a family

And that is why the sheep

Did not think twice

About finding the lost lamb


But we can’t expect everyone

To understand

The values of a good flock

Can we?

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Rip Van Winkle Catches Up

...So I wake up under the tree


And I’m like--


Whoaaaaa


I mean, I thought maybe

I had slept for, like,

I don’t know

A couple of hours?


A few hours

A couple


Annnnnnnd


I get up

And I go walking around

Stretch the limbs, you know?


And, not right away, buuuuuut

I would say, you know,

About a mile back

On the way to my house

And, um, first thing is

I had been sleeping for, you know

A good hundred years or so

And, um, so clearly

Things were, uh, a little different


The town square

Where we would usually

Burn the witches

Was long gone

And, uh, when I saw

The place where it used to happen

All gone, I was like--


Wow, the witches

Must be running wild

Around here now


Then I get to a bar

Not my usual

This was a different bar

Because my old bar

Was turned into a, uh--


A bed and breakfast

Which--


I’m fine with

You know

I love beds

I love breakfast


But, uh, had to find a new bar

And that was when I knew

That something was up

But, you know,

My buds used to love

To play jokes one

So I was like--


Maybe they tore down

The entire village

And built a newer, bigger one

Just to mess with me, you know?


I mean, if you knew Skippy

Back in the day

You know, before he died

And, uh, his kids died

And, uh, well it’s been a hundred years

So even his grandkids

Are, you know, they’re up there

They’re certainly, you know, up there

But back when Skippy was around

He used to play the craaaaaziest jokes


But I’m at this new bar

Talking to people

Finding out that, wow,

I’ve been asleep for awhile

Probably because I ate some bread

And had, you know, a sip of wine

And that just--Boop--conked me

Right out


So, like…


What’s been going on?

No more witch-burning

I mean--I don’t agree

But, you know, if that’s

Where we’re at

Thennnnn

That’s cool


What else is going on?


Do we still get those sweet dowries

When we marry the shepherd girls

From that village over the hill?


We went to WAR with them?

Aw, but they were such

A nice village


I mean, yeah,

They would always

Set fire to the farms

On the border

But, you know, you overlook that stuff

So you can get along with your neighbors


It just feels like

None of you have any patience anymore

Or, like, you know

Courtesy


Do you still remember

To thank the butcher

When he agrees to massacre

Your enemies

In the dead of night?


Wow, so much is changing


Part of me wishes

I had woken up

A little sooner


But, I gotta be honest--


I have never felt

So well-rested


I mean, is a hundred years

Too long?

Mayyyyyybe


But man

Do I feel good

Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Man at the Front of the Plane

The man at the front

Of the plan

Didn't know who I was


I walked by him

And we locked eyes

And there was a chance there

To say something

To each other


But he didn’t remember me

And I didn’t know

What I would say to him

While moving towards the back

Away from his first class seat

My bag banging into

Every seat along the way

And a dozen or so

People behind me


I got to my seat

An aisle

I always take the aisle

And I store my bag

Sit down

Close my eyes

And think about the fact

That I am about to be on a flight

A six-hour flight

Closer to the love of my life

Than I have been

In almost eight years


And we’re not going to talk


I’m not going to get up

And walk down the aisle

When the seatbelt light turns off

And strike up a conversation

Risking the wrath of the flight attendant

For daring to cross the first-class barrier


The interesting part about this

For me

Is that I can afford

To be in first-class

And I’m fairly certain

He can’t


And in some ways

That is very, uh, indicative

Of our relationship, as it was


He always cared

About appearing to be better off

Than he was

And I didn’t care about

How I appeared

Because I grew up

Feeling very comfortable

In who I was


The final straw for us

Was the day he came home

Driving a brand new car


‘You can’t afford that,’ I said

Stating the obvious

And he looked so wounded


That I would dare bring up

That he was lacking in any way

But particularly in that way

Financially

Not able to give himself

The things he wanted

Regardless of how extravagant

They might be


Then I made the additional mistake

Seeing that he was wounded

Of saying--


‘If you really want a car

I can buy you a car’


That was the falling off point


He got quiet

The fight went from an explosion

To an implosion

And two weeks later

He moved out


I don’t feel bad about any of that

Because I’m not going to feel bad

About making more money

Than the man I was with


And I’m certainly not going to regret

A relationship falling apart

When it fell apart because the man

Had a loose grip on reality


Which is what that is


I mean, financial reality

Is still reality

And I don’t blame someone

For being sensitive

To their financial state

But if you’re going to love me

And I’m going to love you back

Then at some point

Those financial roads

Are going to collide

And I’m fine with that

Provided you don’t define yourself

By your bank account

Because that’s how both of you

Wind up with nothing


And so now I have this seat

This cramped seat

On the aisle

And he’s in first-class

And when I passed him

And we locked eyes

There was this charge

And in that charge

Was an acknowledgement


Because I would never shame anyone

For what they have

Or don’t have

But without being able to help myself

I kind of smirked at him

As if to say--


‘You don’t belong here, do you?’


I couldn’t help it

It just happened


It’s funny how I still think of him

As the love of my life

And yet I know

That any continued interaction

Between us

Would have resulted

In a kind of continual hurt

That would have damaged us both

In ways we never could have recovered from


The plane takes off

The fasten seatbelts light is turned off

And I stay right

Where I am