August 1, 2016

Three Poems by Richard L. Ratliff: "Burma Shave," "Aging Gracefully Ha," and "Prostate"

Richard L Ratliff is a baby boomer, born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, his Midwest ties have built the foundation and setting for his poetry. He is a Purdue University graduate with two years of engineering turned into a degree in English Literature; along with being a two year letterman in wrestling. All of these eclectic combinations have given him a career as a boiler and combustion expert and poet.He has two published books: It’s About Time and 3420:Backyard conversations, both available on Amazon.




I remember........
Getting hit in the head with the swing set;
Doctor sewing up my scalp at home,
While setting on the step.
Taking the bus downtown with mom,
Car shopping for dad.
Picked out a Ford with a windshield sun visor.
A two tone black and cream collage
Mom using it to "move the garage".

I remember family vacations:
Driving to Florida before the interstate
Before Disney became a nation
Motels with pools, swimming laps,
And all those tourists traps:
The house that reverses gravity
Burma-Shave signs leading the way
To where the fountain of youth lay
Driving to the lake,
Dad forgetting his hat
At the halfway restaurant cafe
Finding it still there the next year.
Those were special days

Weeks at the lake catching turtles
Cleaning fish guts and scales
Swimming and skiing on glass.
Great fun and no care of details
No telephone at the cabin

Aging Gracefully Ha

It gives you clarity, perspective and appreciation

Always thought cataracts were rapids in a river
Or a boat or something: fuzzy thinking
Don't think they give clarity
Even bifocals don't help

As a kid I wanted to be a king like Arthur
Didn't realize getting a crown would be painful
Like a poke in the eye: going down the canal
And not a canal in Venice either

Always enjoyed a smile with dimples
But time adds wrinkles to the smile
Causing ever so slow changes
As my dimples turn to jowls

I found out that PSA
Isn't a pro sport authority
Doesn't regulate the rules of golf
But It can affect my game


Bend over, pants down
Doctor gives the run around
Get up on demand
Dip your pen in the ink well
Shrink down, turn around

Put the top down
Catch a cold shoulder
Can't vaccinate for that
Keep your head warm
Wear a lambskin cap

Straighten out
Drill a new well
Just swell
She's a ten
But you can't
Your an eight

Up more than four hours
Poking around all night
Doc, I need a follow up!
So I can take a nap

Richard L. Ratliff

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