Triggers on the Gardening Tool

like swords to plowshares,

we no longer use these words 

to cut. 

our wits, sharpened

to peel back

layers 

of self-harm.

onions making me tear up

without knowing why.

Amid these sandy seaside columns

I remove my hand

and with a look back

throw my lot in

as the land 

furrows behind me

the saltiness

peppering my past

losing its flavor

working this potter’s field.

Circling the Wagons

McGuffin’s got nothin’

but to propel

this darn

campfire yarn

done spun

from

a deserted 

ice cream party

at the Just A-OK Corral.

Thumb and finger

circling back around.

Your release

to the great halfpipe

in the sky

consequently coincides

with the remastered

Tony Hawk Pro Skater.

Games we used to

play

at being adults

someday, having to grow up

yet

let

it languish

for twenty-some 

odd years.

360°

circles back around.

Hanging back, you

duck out early

as was your habit.

No need to be the center of attention:

that was Bob’s job.

Puff, puff, pass.

It’ll circle back around.

Longing 

to pick it back up again

where we left off

nostalgia

welcoming

with open arms

carrying me

drunkenly

to sober up

in the pokey.

The missing windows

of last night’s 

bar fight,

whites 

in my beard

stragglers no more

reflected in 

the boarded up plate glass

you escaped from.

Rowdy crowd

circling around back.

Awake

and baked,

the hardpan

blazing already

at this time of day.

Feet of clay

I didn’t think

I’d have been caught

in this time-sink

drink tank

quicksand

of a calamity

I’d never prepared for,

dusting off these

trailing 

wailings

dry gulch parched

and perched

a vulture

waiting 

for my demise

circling back around.

Circling the Wagons first appeared in Daily Drunk Mag’s “Nostalgic AF: A Video Game Anthology”

edited by Nick Olson

You can read the rest of the poems here

Or you can support the poets by buying it here