Monday’s Rune: Rescue This


Innocently Unhelpful

One day I was chopping weeds.
When I looked up Libby, our toy poodle, was gone.
I knew she would go home with virtually anyone.
But she’d been fixed years earlier, so she could go play.
I noticed a familiar SUV driving away. I was unarmed, but I felt, maybe,
Libby had been dognapped. I called for her and looked around.

After a while, the car returned and pulled over near me.
The lady driving rolled down the window. She held a small black dog
in her lap and asked if it was my dog. I said, “I don’t know. Lemme check
her license right here on her collar.” Libby was calm. I got semi-sarcastic.
“Yep. Last seen right over there in my yard sniffing her own shit.”

The indignant do-gooder gave me a look and said, “I’m a dog
rescuer. I rescue strays.” I took Libby and said, “Today you’ve
moved up to dognapping. Last I checked that was against the law.
Now may I see your rescue license?”

I could tell she was getting pissed at me.

Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall
started pounding my mind and I turned up my volume,

“Hey!       Lady!         Leave this dog alone!

All-in-all, look both ways when tending your flock.
Your poor wretched strays may get “rescued” the minute you look one way.
Mind the gaps in the minds of those dumbly righteous souls who do good to feel better than.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 2)

The second day NaPo challenges me to write a poem based on a word of my choosing from those featured in a tweet from Haggard Hawks, an account devoted to obscure and interesting English words.

I chose the word misimprove, a transitive verb meaning to make worse while attempting to make better or to use something wrongly or poorly. The word has the same meaning as disimprove, which is easier to find. However, the latter lacks the important feature of attempting to innocently improve or make something better, a definition Merriam-Webster claims is archaic.

Both mean to make matters worse. Both remind me of the humorous signs in auto repair shops warning of the higher cost of repairs when shade tree mechanics have applied their shady talents.

Forgive My Misimprovements

Let me count the ways.
Bolts broke when I overtightened nuts
or worked to remove rusted ones,
When I used too much salt or bleach
or hot sauce, when I sanded or sawed
too deeply, when I erased too hard
making holes in paper, when I forced
instead of finessed, or took it apart
unable to reassemble.

I remember when
I downshifted on ice, drove too fast,
aggravating made things worse;
when I changed your battery
but reversed the polarity,
when I backed out slowly
without looking, and the day we
got stuck in the mud.

I changed the word but misspelled
the better one, I should have asked
before trying to fix your problem
(made it worse), all this
to make things better.

I trained to much, went too far,
and pressed too hard;
solutions I suggested
made matters worse. I defended
and that offended. I loved too much,
told the painful truth, tried to help,
gave you a such a push or pull leading
to your spill. I pranked something funny
that wasn’t, I said yes,
said no,
said nothing,
said something,
all to misimprovement.

To pile on worse woe
I tried, and things worsened more,
problems intensified, situations
aggravated, and problems compounded.
Yet, if I stop,
nothing ever gets better.

Look both ways for the questions to the answers.
Mind the gaps and ask, what is it you want me to do?