Don’t Be Flip

when you drop
    your mate at
       the dock or

your children
  at school Don’t
      be cool. Don’t

be coy. Or if
    you do, don’t
       assume it’s

okay to act
  that way. For
     today may

be your last
  chance at
     joy before it

flashes away
  like a tin
    toy in one of

those shooting
  galleries in
    midways: those

ducks that seem
  to paddle a
    stream that’s

not a stream
    but a rotating

toothed for
    & reappearance,

a spit
    without point
       or flame,

along which
  randomly clucks
      the whole game.