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A Quartet for R.F.
by Ted Apps


Plumber

Come sit down, fat plumber.
Sit at this oaken table
On whose rough surface
My oldest son was born.

Plumber, the work you did for me
Stank.
I cannot pay you
For the work you've done.

 

Reeking

What in the name of God
Did you step in?

Despotic oaf,
Did you think that you could come in here

Reeking?
I have killed white men for less.


Autumnal

Outside plummet the sparrows and leaves.
In the village a migrant farm worker
Plucks out a doleful tune on a borrowed, tea-colored guitar.
Autumn: Now he rests.

But what if he got butt-fucked?
Winter presses in, inevitable and unhurried.
A lacework of bare tree limbs nets the falling sun.
And just around the corner

A psycho, butt-fucking cop awaits.


Talismans

A poem. By Longfellow.
A single fat hairy bee.
Sticky droppings on the stairway
Left in the night.
I can't control my prosthetic
In this cold.
Its thick leather straps aren't pliable.

It would seem that
Winter is barking
At the gate on the main road
Two turns past

The barn where the horses ate my wife.