Literary Yard

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Coffee, Please, in a Lovely Cup

By: Ruth Deming

After my final sip of awful generic coffee, I donned my cowboy hat with latch at bottom so it wouldn’t topple off, and set out to walk the hilly block. Assiduously I avoided Bob, “the quiet man,” who refused to speak to me. He had just finished using a blower to get his leaves into bags from Home Despot, as I call it.

            Today is Sunday, I reminded myself. No mail. But of course our street would be served by the blue Amazon truck, the white FedEx, a dozen trucks to mow the leaves from our lawns, and cars going as fast as at Atco Speedway in New Jersey.

            Hearing them in the middle of the night, I pulled the covers around me and swore. What if children were on the street? What if they escaped from their beds with some kind of sleeping disorder? It has been known to happen. Was something wrong with their melatonin?

            I am a poet. I was invited to “read” at the Warminster Public Library on Wednesday, November 16, at 6:30 pm. Yes, it will be dark and I can’t drive in the dark, though I had cataract surgery which made the Christ-like haloes disappear.

            Both Aaron and Victor volunteered to pick me up and drive me there.

            Who would be worse?

            Aaron never stopped talking and Victor was always accompanied by – get this! – his emotional comfort dog named Alexis.

            Dogs! At home we had our Triscuit – Trissy for short – but one night he simply died of old age. His teeth were bared and we drove him – Mommy, Ellen, Lynn and I – to the SPCA in Conshohocken, PA. Though he was covered up, we kept turning around to see if he had revived.

            Not in this life, you don’t.

            When we would read at the Warminster Library, everything must be family-style. Clean. Unblemished. Not a single curse word or mention of – ugh! – politicians. Only last night, Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, was victim of a hammer attack.

            What will they think of next?

            Mentally ill, for sure.

            The cowboy hat that doesn’t fall off was given to me by the friendly rapist living on a neighboring street. No, that will not be in my poem.

            Neither will his crime.

            Recidivism rate gets better over time. Do they run out of energy? Out of testosterone? Do they simply jerk off at home?

            The boss of our Creative Writing Group is 90 years old. A brilliant woman with shiny white hair, she wears trousers she has “taken in” since she has shrunk over the years. We have talented people in our group. I especially like beautiful Helen with her silky blonde hair. She and Pharrell have been married 33 years. She read a poem about Y2K, remember that? She confessed that she had bought 6 cans of tuna fish just in case the world ended.

            Geez, even Henny Penny knew it would not end.

            Me, I have insulin-dependent diabetes and though I still have feeling in my feet and toes – I am tapping them right now – we can’t ever be supercilious, elitest, or let a rapist get inside our homes.

            As Burt Bacharach might croon, “I say a little prayer for you.”         

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