That’s a Wrap


An exhausted looking woman shuffled her feet into the post office.

Everything about the woman was tired; an oversized winter coat hung limply from her frame, her hair was dull and lifeless, and deep bags drooped from her eyes.

Yawning, she pushed a small package across the counter to the clerk.

“Regular delivery, please.”

“Sure thing, Mrs. Williams,” the clerk responded.

Taking the package from her, the clerk asked, “Are you ok today, Mrs. Williams?  You don’t look too good.”

He turned from his patron to the computer in front of him, and weighed the small package.  The scale beeped, he typed something into the computer, and printed out a ticket.

The woman’s eyes dropped shut and her chin dropped to her chest, as she leaned against the counter.

The clerk pursed his lips in concern when he glanced at the woman.

Clearing his throat, the clerk said, “Ahem, Mrs. Anderson,” as he pasted the white sticker onto the package.

Her head jerked up, “Oh, sorry about that.  I haven’t been sleeping very well lately.  I’m dealing with a spider infestation.”

She leaned over the counter and whispered, “They web me in at night.  I’ve had 4 exterminators come and no one can take care of the problem.  Where ever I sleep at night, they find me and wrap me up so tight I can’t move.”

Shuddering, she confided quietly in the clerk, “I can feel their cobwebs now.”

The clerk’s eyes grew round in disbelief and confusion.

“Now, what do I owe you, young man?” the woman asked as she slowly blinked and opened her purse.

The Landlord


“Who is going to stay with your aunt when she goes home?” the man asked of the gruff female voice on the other end of the phone.

The woman explained, “I moved my niece in there a few weeks back,” and suddenly stopped speaking.

She started hacking a harsh cough directly into the mouthpiece of her phone which came out crystal clear into the man’s ear.

Holding the phone away from his head as the coughing continued, the man rolled his eyes.  Have another cigarette, why don’t you, he thought to himself.

Finally, the hacking stopped.  “It’s just my asthma and COPD acting up again,” she explained.

“Does your aunt know that this person is living in her home?” he asked with an incredulous tone.

“Sure, she knows.  We’re just about splitting the rent money in half.  I keep a little more because I’ve set the whole thing up.  I’m kind of like her business manager. Before this niece, I moved in a cousin and he shacked up with some woman.  They weren’t even married and they were just hanging out there, sleeping and partying.”

Leaning back in his office chair, the man started to spin left and then right.  “So what happened to them?”

“Oh, I kicked them to the curb,” she said very matter-of-factly.

“Your cousin?” the man asked to clarify.

Ignoring his question, the woman continued. “I kicked him and the woman out to the curb when I found out that she was living there, too.  Excuse me for saying this, but he’s just a pure piece of trash.  Plus, he wasn’t paying rent, so he’s gone.”

“Let me see if I understand.  You’ve been renting your Aunt Betty’s house out while she’s been in rehab for a stroke that left her paralyzed and unresponsive.  You’re only renting to your relatives who pay rent on time and are also willing to take care of Aunt Betty when she returns home.  She’s totally in agreement with this and you are only working in her best interest.  Does that sound right?”

“Yes, I knew you were listening,” the woman exclaimed with joy and started coughing again.

Have a heart




I’ve seen more scars than I care to remember

From women who were once vain about their beauty

Now angry at the ugly marks left by careless surgeons

As they remember their glory days

And forget the reason they went under the knife 

What’s in a number


Lying on the hospital bed where he spent so much time, the man weakly raised a tattoo covered hand.

“Hey,” he greeted his grim-faced mother with a smile as she bustled through the door with a bag of groceries.

A gust of cold air blew in from the outside as she slammed the door shut behind her. The man shivered. A patchwork blanket covered his useless legs and bare chest, but his arms inked with images of dancing women, names and numbers, and marijuana leaves were left to the cold.

Managing to pull himself up onto his elbows, he peered with dark eyes at the woman he secretly referred to as ‘the warden’.

“Did you get me those cigs?” he asked.

She looked at him with disgust, “You’re going to burn yourself up one of these days, smoking the way you do.  How do you think you’re going to get out if you catch your bed on fire?”

Ignoring her question, he searched her with his eyes, curious for the first time of the day.

“There,” she pulled a pack out from her coat pocket and carelessly tossed it onto his chest.

“Make them last until the end of the week.  You know I don’t get paid again until Friday.”

Pleased to have a task ahead of him, the man began to methodically pound the pack against his palm, ensuring the tobacco was as tight as possible in each stick.

“Did you hear me?” the warden inquired, standing next to the prisoner’s bed with her thin arms crossed.

He continued to ignore her and pulled the cellophane wrapping from the pack, bracing for what was sure to come next.

“You know, if you were never into the drinking or the drugging this never would have happened to you.  You never would have gotten mixed in with that gang and shot, like they did to you.  You would be dead or in prison, if you weren’t right here in this bed.”

“Come on, mom,” he interrupted her coarsely laughing at her routine as he lit a cigarette and took a deep drag.

“No, boy, you need to hear this. I think this is God’s way of punishing you for all those bad things you did. He’s been punishing you for the past nine years,” she spitefully exclaimed.

“Don’t you think if that was the case, I’ve been punished enough?” he countered, and exhaled a mouthful of smoke.

He silently added, “And it’s only been eight years.”

Rocking Out


Sitting side by side in rocking chairs, the pair of old women slowly creaked back and forth.

A breeze blew across the porch and rustled the green tendrils that crept over the edge of the hanging basket.

“So why did you say she never had kids?” one woman asked the other, as she stared out over the empty parking lot.

Without breaking the rhythm of her rocking, the other woman explained, “Said there were already too many unwanted ones in this world to justify it.”

The first woman nodded her head, “Sounds about right.”

Her eyelids dropped over her bleary grey eyes and her chair slowly stopped and her head fell forwards onto her chest.

She dozed off and out of the conversation.

Meanwhile, her companion was left to rock alone and imagine the grandchildren who would never visit.

Haste makes waste


A grey and dinged up car circled the apartment complex.  It was in an area where cars were driven by people who knew enough to leave.  It was in a place where cars only circled the area when something was about to go down.

However, the grey car continued to circle the complex, weaving through the poorly marked streets and lanes.  The car was driven by a young woman who was close to tears of frustration.  She had been lost for the last twenty minutes in the apartment complex, driving slowing and squinting at the numbers above each entrance.  A grungy looking maintenance man whizzed up on a golf cart after her sixth pass through the complex.  He slowed next to the woman’s car and suspiciously peered into her window to see her intently following the directions of the GPS on her phone at less than five miles per hour.  Sensing his stare, she turned to look at him and waved with a smile.

Noting a name tag and a clip board on the woman’s passenger seat, he grumbled into a walkie-talkie, “Its fine, just another damned case worker,” and buzzed off back to the heated maintenance garage where he could smoke cigarettes and watch a small portable television in peace.

“Aha!” she shouted.

“This has to be it!” the woman declared comparing the numbers over the red door with the address on her GPS.

Glancing at the digital numbers on her dashboard before shutting the car off, she said, “Shit, late again!”

Silently, she prepared herself for the visit and said, “Ok girl, get it together.”

It was at about that time that the thought crossed her mind to review the last case note from the previous case worker. Nah, no time, she decided as she grabbed her clip board and marched into the entrance of the building.

“Come on in,” a voice yelled from inside when the young woman knocked on the door.

Without hesitation, she let herself in, eager to see what was on the other side.

“Hello, Mrs. B.  How are you?” the young woman began in with the questions immediately, filling the room with her nervous chatter.

She continued, “Tell me about this wheel chair.  How long have you been in this?  Seems like something new.”

Mrs. B sat in a wheelchair with a rough pink blanket over her lap and a bright green head wrap.  A flash of confusion crossed her face and was quickly replaced with a wide smile.   A second woman in the room began to laugh, her big chest and stomach bouncing up and down as the two fed off of each other, whooping and cackling.

“She don’t know,” the second woman managed to wheeze out between chortles.

Trying to control her laughter, Mrs. B turned towards the young woman with a straight face.

“Girl, I done been in this wheelchair for a long time now.  Maybe you didn’t notice but I don’t have no legs,” she explained.

The young woman’s eyes bugged out in disbelief at her obvious mistake.  She stared at the space in the blanket that should have been filled out by big, black legs, but where instead, the blanket was flat.

Bad News

I’m sorry to be the one to give you the bad news, ma’am, but you’ve got a baby thug on your hands.  


Baby Thug

He was born a bully, a mean infant

Pushing his way out of the womb

He came out crying about the accommodations

  And then demanding milk from his exhausted mother

Age did not improve his temperament

Rather it gave him time to stew in his own evil juices

and his bad nature turned into something worse

He started stealing snuggles and kisses, breaking into hearts, and revving up the engine of time  

Small crimes at first that were sure to lead to his makers’ undoing 

Sure enough, time would prove the diagnosis right

He was a baby thug 

the patience of a saint


When the Devil told me it was time

I lit out running

like the soles of my feet were on fire

Running faster and faster

Lungs burning and body aching

The distance between us grew

Til I stopped to look back


hot breath

on my neck

 intense gaze

searing my essence

Patiently waiting

He would take what was his

even if it took

an eternity