16 Aug

Staying with a friend in town

I watched a leopard slug traverse the gutter

near my car tire

I had forgotten there were slugs in Michigan

For a few seconds I felt transported to Humboldt County

on California’s north coast


I looked up and saw the old woman across the street

mowing her wide lawn on a riding mower

She reached one side and turned

The mower said Toro across its rear

She was a citizen who had vociferously supported the turbines

the hostile takeover of Riverton Township by a corporation

who had buffaloed the county commissioners

who pulled the wool over their eyes with scams like

“The Good Neighbor Fund”

Everyone awake in Riverton recognized that the corporation

was a shitty neighbor

worse than the worst neighbor you’d ever had

To start, their easement agreements required that we

give up our freedom of speech

I would not give up my freedom of speech

for a lousy two-thousand dollar payoff


I watched the slug make his slow way toward the curb

toward grass and nourishment

He moved at his own speed

He wouldn’t be rushed

I wouldn’t be rushed either

I refused to be given

the Bum’s Rush


My bones felt heavy

my joints creaky with advancing age

I drove away

careful not to crush the slug

More consideration than the commissioners

had given us


Get my novel, TWO-HEADED DOG, here: 


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