The Folly of the
Fragile is the tumbleweed in the force of the
The ol’ worthless pile of . . . dung beetle
had eyes for a
filly in another stable, a painted lady in the town’s saloon, whose purse was a
Strutting in like a rooster in his dingy finery,
down at the poker table, and used his wife’s egg money to place a wager. He
settled in, prepared for a night of debauchery.
About a mile’s ride from town, where no
trees dared to
grow, sat on an old broken- down shack with a leaky roof and drafty beams. Two
ragamuffins played outside in the dirt. The dung beetle’s bride, her swollen
belly making movement difficult, took a rag, and cleaned her bloody lip in the
cracked mirror. Green eyes with starbursts stared back, vying with the colors
on her bruised body.
Riding in on a palomino steed, came the itinerant
making his rounds. He reached into his saddlebag and pulled out some peppermint
candy sticks for the two boys who eagerly surrounded him.
The storm on the horizon mirrored the storm in
when he went inside the shack to meet with the missus. He offered comforting
words from the Holy Bible and left.
The next night: The unsuspecting dung beetle took
to Miss Bessie’s Café. An unknown waiter served him a mess of turnip greens,
laced with hemlock.
His soul’s essence left the table and descended
That rooster’s crow was silenced.
. . . . The shovel sounded loud against the hard
Preacher’s breath, foggy in the frigid night
air, was rapid
Remembering his costly folly for a filly; he dug
A pot of turnip and hemlock greens filled the
Evidence buried near a daffodil’s bulb.
Parker has been published in Spirit Fire Review, The Potato Soup Journal
and Agape Review.
Bernice Holtzman’s paintings and collages have appeared in shows at various venues
in Manhattan, including the Back Fence in Greenwich Village, the Producer’s
Club, the Black Door Gallery on W. 26th St., and one other place she
can’t remember, but it was in a basement, and she was well received.