He tilted back his head to lift his nose,
That looked down on my feature’s shining greeting.
This future in-law to my daughter chose
To use this time for our initial meeting
To flaunt he is a more accomplished man.
A trial lawyer, his wealth and status showed
He rose above me like a mountain’s span.
So as his cocksure, growing ego crowed,
I watched his form balloon into the sky,
Blot out the daylight like a sun’s eclipse
And make me wish that somehow I should die,
Till I perceived he looked like those airships,
Whose bulging skin absorbs our every sense,
Yet stands empty except for flatulence.
—from Rattle #25, Summer 2006
Kenneth O’Keefe: “My retirement from a public school classroom just over seven years ago has provided me the opportunity to rediscover the wonder of writing. For as a schoolboy I was enchanted by how the magic of words could suspend time. Hours would pass unnoticed as I engaged in writing a story or poem. This I understood later is the power art has over time. So now, after decades of deprivation, I’m happy to have, at last, the silence and solitude that facilitates this transcendence.”