POEM FOR CHILDREN: Jungle Mouth

Jungle Mouth

 

I taught baboons to brush my teeth.

Opossums learned to floss ’em.

My boa knows how to squeeze out paste

crush up the tubes, and toss ’em.

But when my pets see cavities

they hiss, they howl, they shriek

and take away my lollipops

and chocolates for a week!

 

                                                           

First published in Spider.

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CHILDREN’S POEM: A Very Famous Ostrich

A Very Famous Ostrich

 

A very famous ostrich came to town

wearing teardrop earrings and a frown.

We gave her red roses

(she tossed them in the sea)

then she bit our noses

and sang just beautifully:

 

“The people, the people,

I love the people,

every people I see.

O people, O people,

I love you people

but please: don’t look at me.”

 

She drove off in her limo and

we never saw her face again.

 

 

POEM FOR CHILDREN: Oughtabees

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Rolli’s latest children’s book, Kabungo, won the Joan Betty Stuchner Funniest Children’s Book Award. His latest adult book, The Sea-Wave, was longlisted for the Saboteur Award. Follow Rolli on Twitter @rolliwrites.

FLASH FICTION: Chez Franco

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“How’s the wine?”

“Tastes wonderful.”

“But does it taste expensive?

“It tastes older than you. You must know Franco pretty well.”

“You look beautiful. Really. It’s not just me. The guy by the window…”

“Frog Eyes?”

“He can’t take them off you.”

“I wish he would.”

“No worries. They’ll cook him up shortly.”

“So you’re a friend of Franco’s? I mean, to get a free bottle. You must be well-acquainted?”

“Not really. I’ve known him … twenty years.”

“Old friends?”

“I never could stand the man.”

“Does he know that?”

“I’m guessing he’s knowledgeable. With a forehead like that.”

“Then why the wine?”

“Madeline…”

“And why come here?

“You’re a beautiful woman.”

“Frog Eyes seems to think so.”

“Franco, too. He keeps looking at you.”

“He doesn’t.”

“If we’re not vigilant, a duel could break out any minute.”

That I’d pay to see.”

“Madeline?”

“Yes?”

I only noticed the masked man when he yelled something unintelligible. He pulled out a gun and…

Franco’s head exploded.

Then we were on the floor. Under the table. Madeline… I’m sure I looked just as terrified. I’m not sure who took whose hand. Who gripped harder, with every shot.

People falling. Tables. Shattering glass.

No words. No screams.

For a minute or an hour, we didn’t move.

When we crawled out…

Frog Eyes was lying in the middle of the room. In a puddle. Breathing hard.

No one else was breathing.

We knelt beside him. In the broken glass.

He was gasping.

We each took a hand. He squeezed them. I took Madeline’s.

Shots. Somewhere outside. Faint. Fainter.

Frog Eyes stopped squeezing.

One shot, far off.

Then it was quiet.

                                                                                                  

From The Big T, a flash fiction mini-collection. Order a copy.