without experience I cannot know
     but I can imagine 
what it’s like
to be a shiny metal ball
hurdling around a tilted table
avoiding traps and pitfalls
being slung unceremoniously
by flippers controlled by giants

racing racing racing
landing in an advantageous spot
     earning rewards
setting off flashing lights and bells
and maybe another chance 
to race

or not 

then the lights go out 
darkness returns 
and I remember that I spent my last dollar to race 
so I cry in silence 
under the table 
until the next race

firm connections unwind 
slowly as if speed
mitigates loss

decisions affecting some
made by one 
necessarily without regard

forms an uneven surface
the foundation of unwinding
making connections difficult

silence obscures inequality
as if the sound of words
bring pain

in quiet denial
new routes are  chosen  
without regard to outcome

cooler days, colder nights
windows left opened
fresh air breezing through
less dust than summer
     where is that damned vacuum?

slower to wake up
pajamas at night
welcoming warmth of cats on the bed
any-time nap-time bed-time
     where is that damned comforter?

needing a bathrobe
when the house cools below 65
Scottish plaid flannel
to walk to the kitchen
     where is the dammed belt?

the outdoor cats are standing by the door
meowing displeasure their breakfast is late
I feel guilty for a moment
until they go back to sleep
     without eating

wandering into the kitchen
thinking how to make coffee one step at a time
no! want tea this morning
5-minutes to change plans
     where are those damned tea bags?

there were two multiple shootings 
in the news this past week
one on main street USA
the other at a college 
four dead in one 
one dead one injured 
in the other

multiple target shootings 
are starting to resemble leaves falling in autumn
do we notice as each leaf falls dead on the ground 
or wait until many have died

when do we take up rakes to restore the yard
when the air turns cold and all have fallen?
or wait until denial fails 
and just before banality begins 

it is time now 
for cold-numbed gloveless hands 
to pull the rake back 
and back and back again

corralling leaves 
stacking them like corpses 
in the front yard close to the street
so all can see the dead