fairy dust

--for Patrick

         You nearly fell in the driveway    
       bolting from the bus,
      
threw down your Spider Man backpack,
      
strung together some words
      
about flying.

        When most contents were
        sufficiently divested, you pulled
        
from the depths what my hackneyed
        
eyes identified as glitter
        
in a Zip-lock bag.

        Yes, I should have known
        better.  Four decades living
        in illusion, though, taxes
        
any man's imaginative faculties.

        You weren't upset when a few
        vibrant flecks lodged in the locking
        
strips flittered away in the breeze.
        
You just stepped into the grass,
        
dipped your thumb and forefinger
     

        like snuff, and produced
        enough to give you wings,
        
which I surmised sprouted
        
the moment you parted your fingers
        
over your head, then flapped
      

        your arms around the yard
        until landing in a lump
        
near the garden.  
        
Maybe I ought to try that.
        
Together we could rise
        above this labyrinth,

        Daedalus and Icarus,
        
escaping that curmudgeon
        
King Midas and his minotaur.
        
By the time Theseus arrives
        to cut through the bull,
        we'll be long gone en route
        
to paradise, so long as our wings
        
don't come unglued souring
        
too close to the sun.                  


 

anywhere but t(here)

 

        I wouldn't have assumed
        CNN would be on above
        
the trash receptacles
        
and tray stacks.

        A “reality” show maybe
        or one of those early afternoon
        
programs that ends
        
in a brawl when


        a paternity test reveals
        a baby's father
        
to be a cousin from Idaho.
        
I guess there's a little


        something for everyone
        here at Happy Meal headquarters.
        
While my kids bathe their nuggets
        
in sweet & sour sauce

        and find creative uses for plastic
        Chinese-made prizes,
        
my attention is on “Breaking News”
        
from Colorado.  

        This time it's a movie theater
        where the Dark Knight rises
        
grim visaged like a prop, intent
        
on reaping an aestival crop


        of inchoate purity
        with tear gas, a Remington, and glocks.
        
Youths out late, lovers on dates:
        
martyrs to a hate
        they could only before imagine

        existed anywhere but there,
        1700 miles from my cheap salad
        
and children's processed chicken.

        I avert long enough to try
        smiling at my son,
        
two french fries      pillared
        
from his upper lip like a walrus.

        My daughter wants to play
        in the park.  And so do I.


Ted Millar is a high school English teacher in Mahopac, New York, and adjunct instructor of creative writing and poetry at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. His poems have appeared in Scintilla, GFT Press, Inklette, The Grief DiariesCactus Heart, Aji, Wordpool Press, The Artistic Muse, ChronogramBrickplight and Inkwell. He lives in the heart of apple and wine country in New York's Hudson Valley with his wife and two children. Follow him on Twitter @tedmillar