The Conqueror of Dull Mysteries
Planting a flag in the Who-Didn’t-Care-
Who-Did-It, the conqueror defeats
the easiest puzzles detectives leave
unsolved for harder mysteries
across town. He points to missing
glasses on a nurse’s head. Uncovers
a boy who ate the chocolate chip
cookies by finding crumbs on his hands.
He tells the attorney why his wife
left him by disclosing her “Dear John”
letter, explains to a weeping mother
her son died last week because he wore
an Army uniform in a faraway desert.
The simplest problem is who deposited
all the skeletons in wooden boxes
at the city limits. Several anxious sons
and daughters need to know before
they can talk to their kids about their
parents’ transformations into bone.
He finds the perpetrator in broad daylight,
drinking beers at the State Fair, his scythe
leaning against a post, a blue ribbon
pinned to his robes. I win every year,
he says, look at the results. A warehouse
filled with captive souls, each stall
imprisoning something someone prized.
Author Discusses Poems