When I was very small
My mother took me to the lake
Out I floated, inflatable raft
Then I slipped.
I didn’t know how to swim
And down I went. Once. Twice. A third time.
Thrice is a bit much.
But she dragged me to shore.
A few years later, away at camp
In the bitter winter, I ventured a lonely lake
I chose to walk on the ice
After school specials be damned
Through the ice I went
No one to see me
Somehow I pulled myself out (some movie taught me how to do it)
In college, headed to a party
Everyone loaded and laughing
Especially the driver, what a punk
He flipped the damn car at 90
Being drunk paid off
As I flopped out the window
Cut up, but I scraped by. I left a few pints behind.
Sitting at the bar, having a few
A downtown Detroit restaurant
Suddenly yelling, a gun
It was a robbery, hands in the air
Nobody move, he says
So some asshole moves. Thanks.
Gun goes off just past my shoulder
One night I found myself on a roof
Seven stories high, look at that skyline
It was night, and I was stupid
I fell off the back, should look when I am going
Only 60 feet, instead of 150
Broke a hip and my pride. Pride still hurts.
But survive I did
Later to be the punch line of jokes. Maybe you heard a few.
A year later, only a damn year
A violent storm, a tornado in fact
Tears through the house
I hid in the basement
Lost everything I owned
But a bag of clothes. That I had packed for the weekend. Convenient.
It was a close call.
Then there’s the time that fell after
I don’t care to share details
I can tell you that I
Made bad choices, the killing kind
Truly, it’s a miracle that I made it
If life were fair,
I’d be dead.
Two, maybe three times over.
If I were a cat (A Tom Cat), I’d be down to my
Last life. 9 of 9. (Rough calculation)
But I fear that it might be
Being nickel and dimed by fate
It’s a list of nonsense:
Late onset food allergies, hives
Teeth falling apart (I get cavities now)
Now I got a goddamn podiatrist.
Hemacromatosis – big word, big boy.
(Hey! There’s a cyst in my liver. They tell me this happens all the time)
Other bullshit, and bullshit to be named later.
The slow death of minor inconveniences, maladies, risk factors, possibilities.
I think that my last life will be taken by a collection of annoyances.
A lazy hatchet splintering small chips until tree