Three hundredish grand in a dufflebag. A cheap hotel room with rattling air conditioner.
The bank had been chaos. Smoke and shredded paper filled the air. That one lady never stopped screaming the whole time, whether he pointed a gun at her or not.
He had floored his little hatchback all the way to Oklahoma. Now, he lay on the ratty carpet staring at the nicotine-stained ceiling. He waited for the call, nervously checking his cell every few seconds.
He replayed that fateful conversation over in his mind. “We have your daughter.” Said the raspy voice. “A quarter million and she’s yours.” No amount of screaming, pleading, or threatening could change anything. And no police, of course.
The phone rang, and he jumped out of his skin. “Yes, hel-hello?” He stuttered.
“Shit, man.. we uh, just saw the news.” Said the burly voice. “This is Dave, from shipping?” A long, breathy pause, “April fools, you poor bastard.”
Crumbling wood in the pouring rain
Of a fully assembled
Tearing with splinters
At our slippery fingers
Struggling to maneuver it into place
Soaked to the bone
Craigslist Swingset II
During the night a torrential wind
Ripped the tree out by it’s roots and
Sent it smashing through the wooden swingset
We worked so hard to build
In the morning sunlight
With rain still glistening on the grass
My little girl stands in our back doorway
And weeps openly over the loss
I tell her I can rebuild it
And stare at the mangled mess
Of splintered boards and tangled limbs
Roots uplifted to the robin’s egg blue sky