Thursday, April 2, 2020

Six Feet Either Way

The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
and the part that always made me giggle,
albeit a tad cautiously:
the ants play pinochle on your snout.

I never heard a giggle ring 
untethered at that last line
in its sing-songing children’s voice
after the worms part.

Nary a snicker
that didn’t carry the wee hint of a shiver
(a frisson, were I submitting this poem
to a contest with a $25 entry fee).

The shiver I accepted bravely this morning
while pretend-measuring the distance
between serious Dinky and his veteran-capped friend
outside the laundromat where they said the manager

had scolded them for not standing
at least six feet apart from each other
came with my silent giggle
at the horizontal/vertical implications,

both conceived to cheat death:
one from the living,
one from the dead.

                                                                                                                 m.d. paust

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