The day the world ended I waited until the day’s worst heat was over and went out to deadhead our dahlias and water plants that grew in pots. They dried out faster than those in the ground. The dahlias I deadheaded were Coral Gypsy, Babylon, and Canoz Anne. I liked Coral Gypsy best, a prolific bloomer, red and yellow, a place I’d like to live if I could shrink myself down to climb into its petals.
It hadn’t been a blah Saturday. I made some calls, paid the phone and Visa bill, snuck down half a bag of M&M’s. My husband Ron would check. He knew how many were in that bag, but I couldn’t help it. I have bad habits.
I read a story by Chekhov called “Mayonnaise.” I hated mayo but the title intrigued me so I read and liked it. My views of the food stayed the same. Afterwards, I watched a Knots Landing rerun on DVD. That show improved when Abby joined. The commercials had been deleted so it moved more quickly than I remembered. I napped. I made Lime-Aid. And then the garden.
And then the end of the world. The news hadn’t indicated that today was the day. That didn’t surprise me. I long ago gave up on the news. Events slithered into events, mostly nasty ones. If a person lived to be 80, he or she would see their fill of wars and poverty. I wasn’t apathetic, well, a little. I didn’t understand much and got easily confused.
As a kid I played statue maker. Someone tossed me and I froze in the way that I fell. It wasn’t a game as much as a prophesy. I ended my time frozen. As did everyone. It happened so suddenly, no one had a chance to scream or run. We just froze. The last sight I had was of the dahlias. I froze looking at them. Maybe this means I went to heaven.
Maggie and Bill argue on the porch
Are they fresh enough?
They playfully slap each other.
It’s not playful. It leaves marks.
Maggie becomes an ice cube
melting at the bottom of an iced-tea glass,
her grandmother’s, with a lilies of the valley pattern.
Bill becomes a saw
sawing the same wood block over and over
until it breaks. The saw clatters
onto the cement basement floor.
The strawberries age, having no choice
but to over-ripen and get fuzzy.
Certain that they are doomed,
they weep, they scream.
Night comes to the house
which opens her doors to let him in,
seduces him. In the morning
a Yellow cab sun takes night back home.
Kenneth Pobo has a new book from Blue Light Press called Bend Of Quiet. His work has appeared in: Mudfish, Indiana Review, Floating Bridge, Nimrod, Hawaii Review, and elsewhere.