Much of Your Pain Is Self-Chosen

Uncle Chet sat on his backyard porch
shaking his head and wiping his nose.
The sun tucked itself into night,
so now lemonade season was over,
the glass of fresh yellow lemonade
would fester to putrid lukewarm states
and the game of solitaire lawn darts
would have to be canceled.
He tried it one evening.
A dart flew in through the McGarvey’s window,
landed in Mr. McGarvey’s tomato soup.
He assumed it was part of supper,
promptly ate it. To this day
Mr. McGarvey has an obsession
for jumping into small circles
nose-first and Uncle Chet
can only score twelve points now anyway.
The evening kept growing like Uncle Chet’s stubble,
which he couldn’t seem to get rid of.

—Jaina Roth