Casual Backstroke


Bruce, I’m fixated on the guns again;

wondering if anyone’s every complimented you

on your very nice rack

One looks like it was carried by Clint Eastwood

in a movie about a general-purpose western town

surrounded by sagebrush and conveniently located

watering holes

Another, with a scope and a metal nipple centered

methodically under the stock, one more under the butt,

reminds me of my ex-wife—wooden and stout

Then there’s the shotgun; not the riot police type

or the zombie slayer sawed off, it’s an all-day hunter

Long like a giraffe’s neck … if a giraffe could blow

a giant hole in your chest from across the street

The upper floor urban window we’ve all haunted

at least once in our vacant, silly, steamy lives

Flash of safety orange, as the sunlight hits you,

is the only warning on the street below

Of all the guns in your ornate cabinet, none of these

mere civilian rifles are my favorite item, no; it’s behind a

hidden panel on the backside, a magnificent weapon,

the hand-forged harpoon head from your epic sailor days

Before the big wars, the bigger bomb, and the computer

your bareheaded noggin roamed the streets of seasides

fighting the frustrations, the isolations, the sparks of genius

It was your growing urge to tip their hats—off, off, off

compelling you to the docks that has carried forward

in all the minds, and all the hands, of all the heroes

who’ve heard the Other Voice swimming with their own

in the darkest waters, at the clearest depths

Off, off, off … to the sea, to the sea … before you snap


K. Shawn Edgar | Writer | Humorist | Skateboarder


2 thoughts on “Casual Backstroke

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