Poem: Bessie and Billy

A different version of this poem on Pencliff

Bessie the Cow’s son, Billy

moved out of the meadow

on Wednesday.

No longer a calf

he grew tired

of the hassle

from an overprotective

mother.

She kept harping

on where’s the best grass

and staying upright

and not being tipped over.

Now Billy grazes in peace

on a hill of his choosing

where he’s free

to make Moo-Moo and Whoopee

with a hefty and fertile

young Jersey,

a grass-fed bovine

named Daisy.

©️mft

Flash Fiction Link: The Lone Ranger Rides Again by Mark Tulin

Sometimes when I rode Silver, my dad used to sing “I’m an Old Cowhand” and make believe he was John Wayne just to get my goat. He would call me a “pilgrim” and act like he was a tougher cowboy than me. Once I got mad at him for mocking Tonto and me, and I shot him a couple times with a six-shooter.

Excerpt from The Lone Ranger Rides Again at Friday Flash Fiction.

Poem: The Freak by Mark Tulin

Previously posted on Pencliff.

My father

bought me

an accordion

when I was a kid.

He said

it would help

my asthma,

pushing

the bellows

in and out

over again.

But I knew better,

it was only a ruse.

My old man wanted me

to play polka music

to impress his corny friends.

The Beer Barrel Polka.

The Pennsylvania Polka.

To play in a Mummers’s Day parade.

I’m really a freak,

a grungy beatnik,

I told my dad flat out.

Just get me an electric guitar

and a great big amp

so I can crank up the music

and play in a heavy metal band.

©️mft

Poem: Composition Book

My mother threw out my poetry
when I was fifteen,
just like that,
no apologies
given.

She made sure
that the trash truck
ground-up all my emotions
in all those lined pages
of a marble composition notebook.

She wanted to prevent me
from writing down
all my romantic notions
and teenage secrets.

She believed nothing good
could come of telling the truth,
and that expressing pain
and vulnerability
were dangerous.

It’s better to contain
misery and disdain
in private, she said.
Then you won’t get hurt.

That was when I lived at home,
now I don’t have to suppress
what I feel anymore
or be so overly protected.

I’m free to fill up as many
marble bound notebooks
with poems of blood and tears
without being taken
from a mother in fear.

©️mft