Scattered daisy petals on the sidewalk,
Now only remnants, droppings of dreams,
“He loves me! He loves me not!”
Spoiled leftovers from afternoon playtime
Nesting atop the hopscotch pattern chalked on concrete,
Laggers left untouched in the middle of a game,
“Time out! Endgame! I don’t want to play!”
Mixed with the petals, a slow trail of trickled blood leading away.
“Olly, olly, oxen – free, free, free!”
Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember, the hormonally-challenged?) English teacher living in Moreno Valley, California, with his wife of thirty-six years (poor soul, her, not him), their disabled daughter, one of their sons and his ex-wife and their two children, and eleven cats. Yes, eleven! He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing poetry, Rick would rather still be tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon.