Allan D. Harris


Putting my name on it

Years ago my brother and I
fought over everything
but he caught on quick
to the art of verbal dueling
knowing in my predictability
I would demand
that he give something up to me

“Why?” he would ask
“Because your name’s not on it,” I’d reply
so with a crayon
he wrote his name
on the couch
on the TV
on my favorite cereal bowl

And now that he’s gone
I’ve put my name
on all of our
shared memories
ready for the day
that his ghost asks me
to give it up


Shakespeare said we shuffle off
or at the very least shed
unmatched socks
worn-out shoes
faded suits
fit for neither weddings
nor the funeral dance

using the Bard’s metaphoric
bullet-pointed boxes
stacked in the cellars
stuffed with stuff
real and surreal
crowding the corners
of our basements
our foundations
clogging our attics
our minds
we check off each item
until the only mortal coil
we have left to shed
is the last breath we take
to say
sayonara, baby

My Vacuum Cleaner Doesn’t Suck Like It Used To

My doorbell’s dead
the A/C’s awol
the fridge freezes veggies
and spoils milk
the dryer doesn’t dry
the mixer doesn’t mix
the blender doesn’t blend
I even have to micromanage the microwave

but on the other hand
the sink is sinking
along with any hope
that God’s telemarketer will call
to offer my body
an appliance warranty

The Snowman and the Sun

Despite the snowfall
or because of it
the snowman lifted himself up
from the quiet blanket
of nothingness
and said to the sun

This is my yard
these children
who made me
are my responsibility
I’m here to watch over them
and to protect this house

The sun, smiling
replied that there will come a day
when your duties will melt away
as most burdens do
but the love that created you
will remain vigilant


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