4 poems by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

The People in the Ground.
are small
and hot to the

Their eyes
just egg whites.

Molten arms
over the forge.

A real mind bender.

late at night
they come up
through the floor
with the rug
draped over their heads
like a cheap

and ill-fitting

The Ladder.
all its rungs
for insubordination

in a fit of anger

so that it was
no longer able
to be a

and the rungs
never came

even after arbitration

so I bought
a new ladder

made of stainless

that makes me think
I can fly
when I cannot.

Men Make the Worst Birds.
Fly a 737 out of Dulles
into the ocean
and don’t be surprised when
it can’t swim.

The pickup line at 37 thousand feet
is useless.

Men make the worst birds.

I know the stewardesses present calm,
they are trained that

But they don’t have water wings, do they?

I thought

Speedy Gonzales.
His POA is a pushover
so she got him an $8000 scooter
that he rides around town.

The nurses have warned him not to
but he does anyway.

Driving to the liquor store each day
then inviting all the old ladies back his room
for drinks
at the home for the demented
and elderly.

A few days ago
he flipped his scooter
on the way back from the liquor store
and totaled it.

It fell on top of him
pinning him against the pavement,
huge gashes opened up
on his arms
and legs.

The paramedics were called
and it was hard to for them to lift
such an obese old man.

He blamed a pothole for the crash
but they noticed the speed setting
was on maximum.

Going around a tight corner
faster than a car would.

His walking cane attached to the back
with red tartan bungee cords.

The nurses have now confiscated his keys
and taken to calling him speedy Gonzales
when they are alone.

Indignant at his sudden loss of freedom,
he throws bedpans and food trays at them
as they tend to his wounds.