guinotte wise

Couch by the Ditch

Beige, comfortable-looking. I drive by
it in evening, about time for the news
and weather if they’d put a flat screen
out in front of it, I might stop and sit
with a bag of Fritos and my Coke, sit
with the family who owns it, remark
on the weatherman’s haircut, or if it’s
the weatherlady, say nothing at all,
just watch her graceful hands show
where a cold front’s coming in. If the
couch (sofa, davenport) is out for
hauling away, that’ll cost them. Or
they could put a sign on it, For Sale,
and a dollar amount and it would
get whisked away in the night, free.
Wonder if the man of the house got
tired of spending nights on it and
dragged it to the driveway, saw it in
the rearview of his failing old truck. 


Hay Time Again

They come with trucks and machines
that look like star wars silhouettes when
standing in the dusk. One such rig just
fits through the gate. A heat wave comes
with it and they cut the chest-high grass
and rake it in rows, bale it a day later after
the dew dries off it. Once it rained on the
cut hay, and they re-raked it, turned it over
said it woudn’t be as good, baled it any
way, big round bales. I used to get horse
hay, square bales, not so long ago, and my
wife drove truck and trailer while I stacked
the bales, high on the trailer. I could do that
then, and if my life depended on it, maybe
now, too, but slower. A hundred bales
might take too long, it might rain on some
and I would leave them to melt, their
shapes becoming like resting dogs, then
like grave mounds of small people.

Double Pushcart nominee Guinotte Wise writes and welds steel sculpture on a farm in Resume Speed, Kansas. His short story collection (Night Train, Cold Beer) won publication by a university press and enough money to fix the soffits. Four more books since. His work has appeared in numerous literary reviews including Rattle, Atticus and The MacGuffin. His wife has an honest job in the city and drives 100 miles a day to keep it.