It was a big birdhouse for people
and Ken was one of my neighbors.
Ken never felt so stupid
because he’d loaned his car to a couple of black guys
and they never came back.
I remember those two guys
they never seemed to have anything to do
except sit at their window
carving things into their arms with
They said they had to take their mother
to the hospital.
When it was clear they were not coming back
Ken and I broke into their apartment.
It was a mess and stank of
food on the stove and rotting in the
There were sunflower seeds all over the floor
like a bird cage.
We did our best to balance
Ken came out with a
a couple of candles and a pair
of roller blades
while I got a
Salmon Rushdie book
and a twelve pack
Or Maybe It’s the Other Way Around
Every man’s a philosopher
until breakfast is brought in
by a beautiful woman
every man’s a poet.
Mather Schneider has been published in many high and low places since 1994. He has 4 full length books and a chapbook, A Bag of Hands, which placed runner-up in the 2017 Rattle poetry chapbook competition. He was a taxi driver for many years in Tucson, Arizona and now lives in Hermosillo, Mexico, where he is unemployed.