Today is a shoe.    
   The lace loosens 
and has to be tightened again    
   and again.
It’s tempting to knot it.     
   The sole
worn against the daily routine
   erupts letting a toe 
stick out. You wonder 
   if you can walk around 
with your tongue’s tip
   lolling between your lips.

The headlines: storms will embrace 
   homes at a hundred miles an hour.
Pummel the windows 
   and mumble at the doors.
Rip the roof like a hallucinogen.
   Across the ocean    
homes are bursting because the neighbors 
   hide hate in a missile 
they cannot aim. You wonder why chipmunks 
   dash hole to hole.

Change shoes and go for a jog.
   Kiss the wind, smile at the shin splints,
buy a five-dollar coffee.
   Stare at the pebbles on the path.
Grind them under your soul
   as you run back to the news.


Doug Van Hooser splits his time between southern Wisconsin and Chicago. His poetry has appeared in Roanoke Review, The Courtship of Winds, After Hours, Wild Roof Journal, and Poetry Quarterly among other publications. His fiction can be found in Red Earth Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, and Bending Genres Journal. Doug’s plays have received readings at Chicago Dramatist Theatre and Three Cat Productions.