By Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Midges

We are being good Canadians.
Saving up all our recycling until it piles over
and we have to drive out to the recycling place
by the water treatment plant.

And we have to drive deep into the woods.
The windows rolled up because of the bugs.

Swarms of midges that attack us
as soon as we leave the truck.

A few futile waves of the arm
as my wife handles the plastics
and I deal with the broken
down cardboard.

The inside of the truck filling with seasonal
insect frenzy the longer the back doors
remain open.

A quick wave by the face
before we jump back up into the cab
and drive away.

Squishing bugs against the windows
and into the ceiling fabric
the entire drive home.

 

Open Toe Mule Liner

We are at the Freitag pharmacy
to pick up my medications.

By the cash they have this open
toe mule liner to protect
the feet.

It looks like your toes are wearing brass knuckles,
I laugh.

Oh, those are a lot better,
she says.

I pick up a package and read the label.
It says Made in China.

She sees me looking.
The Chinese got this one right.

I nod in trust
before placing the package back
on the shelf.

Before we walk out of the store.
On our way to a hair appointment just
around the corner that she plans
to keep.

 

Move

Standing
in the middle
of a rained
out soccer pitch
after my father
moved the family
to a whole
new city,
sinking down into
that unfamiliar mud,
a deflated
soccer ball under
my arm;
screaming out
in anger
so that I heard
my voice
for the first
time.

 

M

is not just a fictional
James Bond character,
it is also the 13th letter of
the English alphabet

derived from the word “Mim”
which was itself derived
from the Egyptian hieroglyph
sign for water

which appears as waves
or a stretched out M

which is fascinating to me
even if it’s not worth a bone
in the junkyard to you.

 

Heavy Bag

Frolicking
outside
that
glass
sliding
door

throwing
punches

back
up
from
the
stomach
line

in
that
sudden
hurried
motion

like
a
dying

star.

 

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, The Academy of the Heart and Mind, Setu, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

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