life is chancy

Life Is Chancy

Life is
a porcupine.


Life is
a skunk.


Life is
a barracuda
& a
coral snake.


Life is
a landmine
& a
steel trap.


Life is
a declaration
of war
under a
high-flying
flag.


Life is
chancy.


The same
quill that
pens great
novels signs
death warrants.


The perfume
on your
dresser comes
from the
skunk
in your
crawl space.


The barracuda
mounted on
Hemingway’s
wall with
the hook
still in
its mouth
watched thru
glass eyes
as he
blew his
brains out.


The legless
beggar on
a heat
vent in
Seattle was
a hero
until he
stepped on
the mine.


The fox
chewed his
leg off
to be
free of
the trap.


The hunter,
consumed by
the bitterness
of failure,
beat his
son &
broke his
bones.


The bones
healed &
the son
went off
to the
next oil-
driven war
& massacred
women &
children who’d
lived their
whole lives
in poverty
making nice
things
for us
to wear.


Right,
what about
the coral
snake?


Such a
tiny thing
of bright
segmented colors,
lying still
in the
hot sand.


When it
strikes it
puts a
quick end
to everything.


It lives
in the
mind, the
sum total
of our
terror that
we bury
deep with
false hope.

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