Ken HaynesKen Haynes

Ken Haynes is a local poet and writer and regular contributor to The Capital City Hues and The Wisconsin River Valley Journal. Ken can be reached at:

Ode to Arrogance

You said whatever you wanted to say
Did whatever you wanted to do
Since you set foot on stolen land
Way back before you could remember
In the way people usually think about remembering

Impunity was your birthright
Violence will reap even more money and power
Consequences for you are different than pay-back for me
But a tamper-proof reckoning is imminent
In fact, it has already happened
Just waiting for you to see it
In non-linear time

I no longer want to stand near you
The whirlpool you have created
Is gaining strength and urgency
I don’t want it to mistake me for you
I’ll watch from shore

Enjoy the depths of your creation

•  •  •  •  •

Lookey Here

He looked at me as if he knew me
Or thought he did
Then thought the better of it
When he realized that
I was probably someone else
Who looked like the bus driver
Or hospital CNA
Or sanitation engineer
Or the new science teacher
At his daughter’s school
Who had a darker complexion
Than most of the other teachers
Especially the ones who taught
Science and math
Or maybe I was the guy who had
Moved across the street from his family
Last year
The one he never made eye contact with
For fear that his face would freeze and fall off
Like his mother –God rest her soul- had told him
In the old days in the old neighborhood
The day he told her that he was bringing
A colored friend home for dinner
Or maybe he still believed he’d turn into a pillar of salt and
Get licked to death by salt depraved deer
That had moved to the suburbs
Their salt blocks removed by the DNR
To stem the tide of Chronic Wasting Disease
Even though the venison was still probably good enough
To give to poor people
He didn’t want to take the chance of maybe knowing me
That’s a start
At least it shows he no longer believes we are all
One and the same
Just joking
You can change your pants now