From Gloat to Goat

by Gerald Locklin

His first time back to
Plant-watering duties
Subbing for his wife
While she spent the days
Babysitting their one-and-two-year-old
Grandchildren, he thought he had caught her
In a major, literal faux pas
When he discovered she had left
The faucet of the front-yard water valve
In the Open Position.

Stepping away from it, however,
With hose in hand,
He heard beneath his sodden Birkenstocks
The crunching of one of the hundred or so
Tiny bulbs of the Christmas Lights
Strung along the bricks enclosing
Their Garden of Succulents.

He hoped she was exaggerating
That every last one of them
Would be rendered dark and smoky,

But his best friend at the donut shop
Assured him that he had
Ruined not only his own,
But very possibly
Every damn source of holiday cheer
For the surrounding twenty or so
Square miles.