I buried a can when I was twelve
That was seventy years ago
some of the contents:
a shotgun shell
an indian head penny
a Lone Ranger secret compartment ring
some .22 shells
an Orphan Annie decoder
a metal flying fortress plane
a G-man badge
some wheat pennies
a worn dime
a small rubber car
a bicycle bell
my best shooter marble, orange, yellow and red
dime-sized tin itching powder, empty
1015 Manheim Rd.
Ten paces from the wrenhouse on a pole
toward the little fish pond
four paces toward Mr. Cato’s house
none of which are there anymore.
Epsom Salts and Filling Churches
Well, Tim, the horses are all gone now
so no more big vet bills. No having to share the
pain of an abscessed hoof, or trying to
keep a horse standing in a bucket of warm water
and Epsom salts. But no more warm hellos
in the form of low throttles from a friend
who wants a knuckle rub on his/her back.
No more vet trips and all those damned shots
and worming and teeth floats.
No more worries how they’re doing in a storm.
Or conniptions trying to get rid of a horsefly.
You left too soon for us but you sure did fill
that big Catholic church. You missed
covid. Or it missed you. But not like your
friends miss you.
The gates stand open. They still hay here.
I see an EAT BEEF plate on Nichols’ truck
and it reminds me of you.
I sold that old Billy Cook saddle. I kept the
saddle I used since the sixties. Sixty years ago.
And it was old then.
Might try some Epsom salts myself.
Long hot bath. Sounds good.
Read a book.
Guinotte Wise writes and welds steel sculpture on a farm in Resume Speed, Kansas. His short story collection (Night Train, Cold Beer) won publication by a university press and enough money to fix the soffits. Six more books since. A five-time Pushcart nominee, his fiction, essays and poetry have been published in numerous literary journals including Atticus, The MacGuffin, Southern Humanities Review, Rattle and The American Journal of Poetry. His wife has an honest job in the city and drives 100 miles a day to keep it (until shelter-in-place order). Some work is at http://www.wisesculpture.com.