6/16 amos

Editor’s note: Amos is a church mouse, who types by hurling himself at the keys, but he can’t operate the capital shift keys, and he shuns punctuation marks — except hyphens and dashes.

basketball reflections

boss i was running

for my very life away
from marcellus the
heathen alley cat the
other day and tripped
over a deflated basketball
in the church closet

fortunately it was

lumpy enough for
me to hide under it
and marcellus rushed
right on by and around
the next corner

after i crawled out i
remembered where i had
seen that deflated ball
before — my dad with his
long tail and floppy tennis
shoes would air it up and
play basketball with me

my father first was a
little country field
mouse before he joined
the mousy army and
became a combat-
hardened soldier mouse
he fought in the battle
for the bulging cheese
in the cats-and-mice
world war ii

after the war he
became a mail mouse
and delivered messages
from mousehole to
mousehole in spite of wind
rain snow sleet or hail
no matter the dread of
night nor the threat of
an alley cat fight

but most of all boss
he was a godly mouse
a quiet leader in the
church pew underworld
a manly mouse with noble

character lofty virtues
and hardly any flaws —
and of course boss
being his son i have
always exemplified
those same qualities
myself — what s so
funny boss

at any rate it s soon to
be father s day so here s
a tribute to my dad
to dad — a family
creature for all seasons

the lion walks about
in my father s heart
stately and strong
he s master of his own
kingdom he roars — and is heard
through all its loving parts

worldly practical
gifted with common sense
wise in portions of god s
own holy wisdom the owl
guides us down the
straight and narrow fence
with monkey comedy he
trips over unseen
cracks stumps and open
doorways embarrassing mom
and ties our family bonds with
joy and banana dreams

a mouse among fathers
gentle with firmness —
but we admire him for
those kangaroo legs
which make him the best
basketball player
this side of the west

morning songbird he was
never meant to be
waking us with a tug and
splash of water — still he
has passed to us the tune
of love one never sees

p s — boss there s just only one
thing to say at this point —
happy father s day to all
the happy fathers in the
church pew underworld