You have come to comfort me, I know, while I am beset by Bedouins and their camels in the driveway. Kind of you; all the more because you don’t believe me—no one else sees them and I, old man, am considered fanciful in my distress. Perhaps so: life at length plays fast with fact. I remember dubious complaints from my own father. He called one morning, mid sorrow deepest down, wailing that his third wife had abandoned him, taking only winter squash he’d nested within straw in his cellar. I insisted that was unlikely; were she leaving, she’d have packed a suitcase, dashed a note, not gone away with watch, meds, and her purse still on the bedroom bureau. You don’t understand, he cried, you have no idea how much she likes squash, loves it more than anything. I think of him as I watch the Bedouins sit round their campfire on my driveway. Telling stories, some of them tales of woe from the age of the pharaohs. You have no idea. None. And camels bite.
Richard Baldasty, poet and collagist, has been published most recently in Closed Eye Open and Hole in the Head Review. He is a past contributor to Unbroken Journal (#11, 25, 28). He is at home in Spokane and on Twitter @2kurtryder.
Return to Issue 30 Contents