Donovan Hufnagle ~ 5 Poems

The Scourge and the Kiss

Dear Gov. Rick Snyder,

At age 74, I expect­ed my body to
change. To wilt. To fade. But I’m
a frail saltine spread with peanut
but­ter just for good humor. I expect
to fol­low road maps and rivers
greater and longer than my face. My
feet, knees, and wrists tight­ly bound
to make skin tin­gle. What does it take
to bring help?

As I write this let­ter to you, like the
need­less nee­dles from a dying Christmas
tree, my hair falls. Itchy red spots cock-
roach the crevices of my body—ankle to toe,
wrist to tip, head to calf.

I now use baby wipes instead of water
because the water lingers brown longer than
a rel­a­tive over­stay­ing their welcome.

Order and dis­ci­pline must be kept. Punishment
is this scourge of unknow­ing. I ask the Goddess
to help obtain attain my desires. I invoke Thee
and sim­ply wait for a for­feit, a sweet kiss.

Should I fill a pan with grease, sweet mint,
mar­jo­ram, and thyme? Mix it in with my hot bath
water? For here be a mystery.


Mildred Carter


The Priestess and the Sword

Dear Mr. Snyder,

Can they get on get­ting to get something
going? You need to start doing what needs
to be doing today rather than telling people
things you are not doing or did not do
yes­ter­day. For months. For years. These days
stick like humid­i­ty. Our prob­lems stay.

Here’s some­thing, too, let the nation know
we are still kneel­ing to this, deal­ing with the
cri­sis of water. As my granny says, a woman
armed as a man, girt with a sword, may take
his place as God. A man may only impersonate
the God. Get it gone.

Beverly Thimble


Of the Ordeal of the Art Magical Or Here Are the Facts

Before that day:

- the water held dangerous
lev­els of lead.

- Shutting the eyes aids the hearing

- Binding the hands increas­es perception

On that day:

- focus has been on short-term health
and long-term safety.

- Shutting the eyes aids the hearing

- Binding the hands increas­es perception

After that day:

- who failed will be accountable

- cul­ture val­ued tech­ni­cal compliance
over com­mon sense

- the scourge increaseth the inner vision


The Meeting Dance

In fourth grade, he stabbed him­self in the palm with a pen­cil. In
his four-term career the lead tip still stains his skin. A dot. He
shakes hands and nerves after he speaks of crisis.
A dot con­nects all. He will mark this
day with stone       Flint.      Lead. Men kiss women Women
kiss men when the cen­ter is reached.


A Revision of the Casting Procedure

He wasn’t pos­i­tive confused
con­cerned that more than lead sleeps
in the flow. When he was younger, a boy
fish­ing on the banks of the riv­er, he fell in and
drowned. Does the soiled riv­er run brown
from the lead? 87 peo­ple have caught
Legionnaires Disease. Six other
tox­ins have been dis­cov­ered. Meet ye in some
hid­den shade, lead my dance in the green-
wood glade by the light of the full moon. And,
here, night­mares shall be in full bloom.


Donovan Hufnagle is hus­band, father, pro­fes­sor, and writer. He moved from Southern California to Prescott, Arizona to Fort Worth, Texas. He has three poet­ry col­lec­tions: The Sunshine Special is “part per­son­al nar­ra­tive, epic poem, and his­tor­i­cal arti­fact;” Shoebox is based on true events and is an epis­to­lary, poet­ic nar­ra­tive about Juliana’s “past and present, love and lack, in lan­guage that star­tles;” and 30 Days of 19 uses invert­ed Haiku poems jux­ta­posed to Trump tweets, cap­tur­ing the first thir­ty days of the Covid 19 quar­an­tine. Other recent writ­ings have appeared in Tempered Runes Press, Solum Literary Press, Poetry Box, Beyond Words, Wingless Dreamer, Subprimal Poetry Art, Americana Popular Culture Magazine, Shufpoetry, Kitty Litter Press, Carbon Culture, Amarillo Bay, Borderlands, Tattoo Highway, The New York Quarterly, Rougarou, and oth­ers.; Facebook: dhuf­na­gle­po­et­ry; @donovanhufnagle; Instagram: donovanhufnagle.