taktil, an online literary journal

My Apples by Karen Lake

Cows browse in angel’s hair
grass, swaying gold and green.  Low trees

pregnant with cherry
colored apples.  Brother on brother’s

shoulders reaches for the top bough…
He ain’t heavy
…fills the sacks—two palpable pecks. 

Crunch of Cortlands bares their smack of sweet
young flesh.  We pitch the cores into the sugar maple

woods from the Saturn window—singing a moo-moo
here...and a moo-moo there.

 

Easter's by Karen Lake

 


MY FAVORITE RECIPE: EATING OUT


SEXUAL HARRASSMENT WILL 
NOT BE TOLERATED,
HOWEVER, IT WILL BE GRADED 


IF YOU'RE IN A HURRY,
YOU'RE IN THE WRONG PLACE


VERBAL ABUSE FREE OF CHARGE


WORK FOR WOMEN'S LIBERATION…
LEAVE YOUR WIFE


DUE TO BUDGET CUTS THE LIGHT
AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
WILL BE TURNED OFF –
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY


—Breakfast over
easy, brain and body
resurrected, I pay the check
and scramble to the door:


YA'LL COME BACK NOW, YA HEAR!

Little diner on the edge
of Weymouth with a large
permanent OPEN sign hung
out front—closes every day 
at three.  Slanted floors, curtain
rods askew, paint peeling off
the wooden booths.

Kathy Rose, the Anglo-Saxon
Waitress of Spring, chortles:
“Take the booth way down
on the left in Hingham.”  
Banter mixed with country
music drifts past my ears.
Egg-fried buttery air goes up
my nose.

 “Two eggs murdered 
with home fries, right?” She pours the coffee.  It rushes down my throat and through my veins.  All over the walls, breakfast for the eyes:

guitar, fiddle, & washboard,

Jack Daniels ad, overalls-
clad rabbit in a rocking
chair strumming a guitar.

 

Near the air conditioner
on a white piece of paper
in magic marker

CAUTION:  COLD SEAT—HOT
FLASH WOMEN WELCOME

Framed autographed photographs

of the Wicked Witch of the West 
and Dolly Parton…and—

 

 


 

A Cherry Tree Life by Karen Lake

 

I’ve climbed its rough, black bark

scratching hands, scraping legs

sticking to the tacky dark

sap.  I’ve spied the white inch

worm hanging from a thread

and tasted tart cherries

gold and red.

How far I like to spit

life’s annoying little pits.

But I’ve also smelled

blossoms, white and sweet,

and emerald, pointed leaves

turned to sunset, floating to my feet.

Karen Lake is earning an MA in English from UMass Boston and will graduate in June, 2011.  Her manuscript, South Shoring, is a collection of writing, a contemplation of interests reflecting a shoring up of intellect, emotion, and spirit that forms an arc of transition and discovery.  Much of her reflections are of childhood, adulthood, ecology, nature, animals and suburban life on the South Shore in Massachusetts.  She currently works at the law firm of WilmerHale, continues to work on writing and has just started submitting work.  So far her work has been published in The Watermark.