The Urchin Response

Polar North Estates
25 Reindeer Stable
Nunavut, Canada

Dear ___________,*

Thank you for your scribbled indecipherables.

Please be advised that illegible requests receive default presents at management discretion.

Said presents may be of a value significantly less than the original puerile demand.

Management takes no responsibility for coal lumps broken in transit.

*Not responsible for letters mis-sent to smudged addresses

Defining the Species

We’re tool makers and animal tamers,
dreamers and builders
and lovers and haters.
But most of all we’re hedonists.

Animals cleanse themselves by
tongue-licking and mud wallowing.
We indulge in saunas
and exfoliants and herbal baths.

The lion ignores sex
until mating during estrous.
We attempt diurnal passion
and gratuitous flirting.

The dog owns nothing
and seeks out scraps.
We amass belongings and
clamor for taste sensations.

Our cousins the chimps
pick lice off each other.
We have life coaches
and wellness specialists.

We should wonder
if we’ve accomplished
much of significance
other than indulgence.

Fright of Passage

Of the unavoidable insults I undergo,
airline flights annoy me most.
Delays, discomfort and trapped disease
provided at increasing cost
without even an “I survived” sticker.

The clitorectomy of travel enjoyment
began decades ago with shrinking seats,
security delays, luggage restrictions
and the removal of amenities and food.
I’m diminished by each transit endured.

Unlike auto independence and leisured trains
planes push me into a Venturi nozzle
that squeezes out civility and comfort
and leaves me wondering
if the destination is worth the ride.