Poetry: A suspicious pail filled with a white rose, rice and eggs –David P. Miller

A SUSPICIOUS PAIL FILLED WITH A WHITE ROSE, RICE AND EGGS

Police told the resident that the duck season has begun.
The man was ducking his head down and yelling “incoming fire!”
He was concerned after two playing cards were placed inside his mailbox.
The man refused medical treatment, telling police,
–––––––“I am not a rat.”
About a dozen people tried to get into his apartment to watch television.
The man was not injured and doesn’t remember what happened.

Residents reciting poetry were issued a verbal warning by police.
The TV Guide they received had a strange odor coming from it.
The residents called back to report hearing strange noises outside the home
–––––––and slices of bologna placed on their car.
Police said the noise heard was just the wind.
Police determined that wind had knocked over the glass head.

She heard a person in an adjacent apartment screaming about being killed.
A neighbor was trying to kidnap her, and threatened her
–––––––through the ceiling, walls and garbage disposal.
Someone entered her apartment while she was asleep
–––––––and colored her television set with a crayon.
The front tire on her vehicle was damaged and its hood was covered
–––––––with clams, wine and vinegar.

A suspicious man told the store’s clerk that he needed to purchase eggnog
–––––––to prevent the effects of the poison his wife was giving him
The man said he had been naked earlier because his pants are toxic.
He was harassed by a neighbor who was stuffing nickels and dimes
–––––––beneath his door.
The man was upset that the store did not sell eggnog.
Police gave the man gloves, $2 for a cup of coffee
–––––––and allowed him to continue his activity.

Noise of a personal nature was reported to police.
A resident reported hearing glass popping and breaking.
The sound was made by a hamster that her husband had brought home
–––––––without her knowledge.
The noise was coming from her electric toothbrush
–––––––spinning inside a cup.
This noise has been an ongoing problem.

Onions and cucumbers were thrown at the home.
Someone poured olive oil throughout the first floor.
A screen door was damaged by corn and ketchup
–––––––thrown at it during a food fight.
The combatants were actually just two people dancing.

A child reported home alone was actually an adult who was OK.
The police found he was actually drinking water and eating some bread.
Police determined the man was just an insurance adjuster.
The man was just keeping the phone off its hook.
He was just mapping the stars on his laptop computer.
He was just observing mushrooms.

David P. Miller’s chapbook, The Afterimages, was published in 2014 by Červená Barva Press. His poems have appeared in Meat for Tea, Painters and Poets, Wilderness House Literary Review, Oddball Magazine, Muddy River Poetry Review, Stone Soup Presents Fresh Broth, and the 2014 Bagel Bards Anthology, among others. Work is forthcoming in The Fox Chase Review. His poem “Adagio on Vinyl” will appear in the 2015 volume of Best Indie Lit New England. He has three “micro-chapbooks” freely available from the Origami Poems Project website. David was a member of the multidisciplinary Mobius Artists Group of Boston for 25 years, and is a librarian at Curry College in Milton, Mass.

“A Suspicious Pail…” is composed of phrases and sentences found in the police report of the Amherst (Mass.) Bulletin, saved over a period of years.

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