Thursday, August 3, 2017

Oops App

Pudgy fog trudges
Into the bay and
Lingers above the links.
Mist rises in odd shapes,
Some forms similar to question marks;
Others tease as they drift,
Like rainbow cotton candy
Eluding sticky fingers at the fair.

In the distance various birds
Blather in the trees,
Their sketchy tweedle duty driven,
Rather than fueled by angst.
They’ve seen this film.

To the east hints of the sun
Peek through the swollen haze.
The morning’s first group arrives
At the 5th, a water hole, the tough one,
Where par turns an average round
Into legend and triple bogey
Shoves hope into a back pocket.

A tubby customer in a baseball cap
And skin the hue of a Clemson football helmet
Strides to the tee,
Armed with hubris and a 4 iron.
He gazes at the drooping flag on the green,
Lurking some 200 yards away,
And takes a mighty swat.

His Titleist heeds no creed;
It’s a self starter and sails wide of target
Into the gloom of the beckoning murk.

Helmet Boy fusses, fumes, chagrins,
Then plops a fresh ball on the tee.
“This one counts,” he says,
Skulling one low and lean
With such force and luck
That it skips twice across the sludge
And bounds onto the putting surface
A few steps from the cup.
“That’s what I’m talking about.”
Another elastic par on Fantasy Island.

The house lights dimmed
On cue, the cast found
Their places.
Faces ripe and keen,
Sensing, flexing, centered.
Everything an echo
Of the blueprint created long ago
And studied for weeks.

One of the light poles
Shivered on the set,
Swaying back and forth.
Who knew?
Then, as the narrator
Found his center mark,
A Color Changing Fresnel
Attached to that nervous pole
Blinked in the manner of a stutter
Before going dark.
The pole swayed again,
Then shook loose
From its mooring
With the lethal snap
Of a rattler’s strike.

The apparatus dropped from the sky
Like a bomb
and knocked the narrator
Into the front row.
Two English teachers
From The Maine Girls Academy
Shrieked when the actor’s frame
Fell into their collective lap.
Blood trickled from the
Narrator’s head, and his body
Shook with the vitality of a damp sock.
Several cast members, three techies and
A nurse, who was as close to a doctor
In the house anyone could find,
Gathered round the prone thespian.

The assistant stage manager
Retrieved the understudy
From the Green Room,
Where he’d just polished off
The remnants of a birthday cake,
Feeling confident his duties on stage that day,
As always, would be slim.

Ah, the curse of assumption.

A lanky sort with a tiny role in the chorus
Who kind of knew the narrator’s lines,
Took uncertain steps toward his dream,
Perhaps his destiny.
But with so little preparation
And even less warning,
A happy ending seemed a stretch.
Still, the show must go on.

Momma said
There’d be days like this.

When you pour orange juice
On your cereal …

When your umbrella snaps
In half just before a hard rain …

When you write the wrong amount
On your last check after a big dinner at the restaurant …

When you think you can make it
With your car’s gas empty light warning …

When you give the finger
To someone who has a weapon …

When you decide it’s time
To do something about North Korea,
Then realize, “Dang, didn’t mean
To launch 15 missiles.”

Some devices are better than others.
Take the iPhone45 for instance.
It has a special feature.
So did Obama’s iPhone44,
But Obama never used it.

Bush misplaced his device
The weekend of Katrina,
Or, perhaps, iPhone43 would
Have dialed in the mother
of all mulligans.

That’s all we really need sometimes.
A do over.
Another try on a tough par 3.
A wiser rehearsal tactic.

Or in some cases,
A dial we can press
To make it all right.

An Oops App.

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