Friend Indeed


It must’ve been 3 a.m. The phone rang startling her body to attention picking up the receiver. She collapsed and they both hit the floor. That was enough. She got to her feet and put the receiver to her ear,


“Baby, you ok?”

It was her friend’s husband.

“Jeff, whhsp?”

“Baby, I got trouble. I need you to come pick me up.”

She was becoming more alert and knew for certain what she wasn’t going to do was get him.

“What’s wrong?”

“I got whiskey dick Baby. There’s someone at the bar and I don’t want to do something stupid.”

“Jeff the kids are asleep, did you try calling Dan?”

“He’s not answering.”

“Probably dead drunk himself. I’m calling Katie, that’s it. She has to come and get you.”

“No, she’ll be pissed.”

Jeff, she’s your wife. She’ll come and get you.”

He was in no condition to challenge her tone of voice.

“Ok Baby, call Katie.”

She hung up and pushed ‘Jeff & Katie’. It took only a couple rings.

“Kate it’s Terri”, she always used her real name with her friends, not what the boys called her. “Jeff called, he’s at a bar, says he’s got whiskey dick, doesn’t want to be stupid and needs to be picked up.” Kate started to rant about what her husband better not do but Terri cut her off. “Look, I don’t know any more I told him I’d call you.” Kate was agreeing she’d get him when Terri hung up. She had no patience at all with Kate complaining about her husband.

“Lived with him for eight years and married him anyway. Not like she didn’t know what she was getting herself into.”

She got cozy under the blankets and fell back to sleep.

Time Traveler


We used to meet up, us three

Regulars lent character, created atmosphere

You cooked so your sister’d be spoiled

It caught in my throat as I walked not far from my place

Not much exercise to boast

Mind wanders

How will it feel, no need to ask

I know


This way, thoughts to desserts but my reflection

passing restaurant glass, a jab to distract from the stab

crossed decadence off

Instead a scoop, chocolate drizzle, iced coffee combined

As cicadas numerous as biblical plagues

drowned music piped

But when all’s said and done, I won’t return


Miss you son



The prompt this week:


Till Death, Belladonna And Opium



Hallucinate visions from the corner of my eye

This way then vanished never there

Dream recurring all different times

Far off place little man at my side

Surrounded by the rich the famous I see

Checking in a room quite a view

A place of great elegance good music good food

They insist to be friends an honor would be but

Not rich an unknown why talk to me

A wonderment for certain


Did I nod?

Where am I?

Shouldn’t take these things

Medication not mine


I hear a din, a sound

Little ones play company surrounds

Not alone any more

Weakened mind little man fades

Catch a glimpse again

Trails on a chest of drawers, is something there

Look close it’s gone

Unsafe dread feeling abounds

Get out now

It began to dissolve as heads dropped in shame

Children stopped laughing images away

Alone were we in an elegant place



Bright and early 7 a.m. I arrived. He looks a little rough but I know he’s been up for a few hours by now tending his herd. Poor guy. Can’t say I blame him for using his wife’s B&O suppositories occasionally. He’d shown me pictures of them together on his bike, a Harley I think it was, popular in these parts. She was hefty, tough looking the two of them turned toward the camera. Here she was now wasting away in a hospital bed in their home. One side paralyzed, couldn’t speak and certainly didn’t like other women around. She still knew her husband. My assignment was four days a week, the maximum any agency could give. I wouldn’t miss it for his sake and I’d take whatever it was she’d throw at me. He had to hold her one good arm still so she wouldn’t try to pummel me with it. He did let go one day and I still don’t believe she wrestled it away; he wanted a little thrill for himself. She grabbed my breast and squeezed with all her might. “Aaagh” I said as I looked up at him. Nothing I could do about it with one hand on the enema bag and the other digging her out. He was quick to recover although he could’ve been quicker. In fact, he couldn’t have let it happen at all. It wasn’t my fault he was having an affair with the housekeeper. I wouldn’t mess with him and diplomatically rerouted any implication or advances. She had to see that. Whatever happened she was first, I was there for her. Her husband I’d show respect to and support in how he wanted her care, that’s about all. He was critical of my technique but I stopped him dead in his tracks respectfully nonetheless. “Look, I have to learn these procedures and employ them but each person is different. Not everything works with everyone though some things are beneficial to keep infection down. What did you do when you were taking care of her before we got here?” I’d taken car of a bedridden diabetic man a while back who got bedsores on a regular basis. The nurse used the same medicated patches on the sores that would give him an infection every time because he was allergic to what they were made of – a vicious circle that after the sore healed he’d have to take an antibiotic for what he’d developed. So, why did the nurse keep using it? Anyway, that did it. We’d discuss, he’d ask questions, we’d figure out what was best according what I was trained to do and what he knew worked with his wife and together we came up with a morning routine. Still, it’s funny what happens when “for better or worse” becomes reality. Not everyone does well with “for worse”, one too many times all bets are off.


Confident enough, after the enema he’d stepped out to give attention to farming keeping in mind when I’d be leaving. As she peacefully slept I gently clicked the rails to her bed locked, made certain she was covered up and packed my supplies. En route to my car he pulled up in his truck, that look was on his face. “What about my bath?” I stopped and looked up at him. “Vince, do you want me to go back in the house? You’re the only visit I have today.” I spoke in a scolding tone. He thought for a minute, “Nah, you go ahead.” “Alright” and I continued to the car. Glad I didn’t have to do anything further to thwart that one. As a rule he doesn’t make those kinds of requests. Must’ve satisfied him enough.


He needs to lay off those things.




Years ago we thought

A Substitute Teacher meant free class

At school

No rules were followed at least we tried not to

Students spoke out of turn, never crude

Wanted to get out of schoolwork as a rule


Well I didn’t exactly under fear of what my parents would do to me if I were taken to the principal’s office for committing such an offense, but that didn’t stop anyone else. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing quite honestly as I sat, a giddy terror taking hold way back in the day. They’d eventually settle down and listen anyway.


Continuing on…


This hasn’t changed over time when a teacher is new

Who started it?

I wonder and have wondered why


I’m here now

Sub for the day

Appalled at what’s before my eyes


And ears for that matter


Anarchy arises

As students scoff, interrupt and mock

Undaunted I continue what the teacher expects


One rags on my hair counting its grays

A boy says “you’ll get old too”

“But I won’t look like that” she sneerily retorts


Am I not standing here


Rude wouldn’t you say?

But I pause the film and ask questions anyway

“Can we get on with it” another bitingly chimes in


Holding back a shudder I sigh

Won’t let fatigue take hold

Though badgered I be


Curling up on the desk to sleep would be worse


I speak to those who listen

Those precious few

Now there’s schoolwork to do


Packets to fill

“Please work on your own

It’s what your teacher says”


Dissed and dismissed

They do what they want

Redirect though I must


It’s to no avail

Administrators come with Pretense their support

Favorite students acting up you see


They don’t behave like this normally debatable philosophy


I’m left in a quandary that I don’t know

I find out soon enough

All responsibility falls on me


Though I’ve followed example set by other teachers I’ve seen

There are other schools to teach fortunately

But the outcome weighs, won’t leave


Heartsick I move on

They’re raising terrorists here

Don’t they realize action’s truth


The next generation of looters

When the lights fail

Yet they look the other way


Under protection’s guise

I fear the students knew

With what they’d get away


And what about the sub

Being reduced insignificant

Turned for the worse vocation’s risk


Let’s go back to those days

Of giddy terror of innocent misbehave

A reverence for life that’s not thrown away