Heed not Steve

Alec Walked in for a Consultation and Walked Out with Braces

Here’s another item into the time capsule:  today Alec got braces.

It’s been on our List of Things Which Need to be Done but Which Will Cost Us A Bunch of Money for quite awhile, but he’s at he right age to get them, so we went, this morning, for an initial consultation with an orthodontist recommended by friends.

At the orthodontist’s office, everyone was very nice.  They took photos of Alec’s teeth and examined him and measured his bite and described his various malocclusions.

Then they discussed the process and the fees and, voila!

In to the chair with him for braces on his upper teeth.  He’ll get braces on the lower teeth and elastics in about seven weeks, on his next visit.


Alec is facing about 20 months of braces, and springs and rubber bands and adjustments.

We’re facing a pretty manageable payment plan.

It was simple and now we just have to show up and pay on time and Alec has to keep on top of his dental hygiene.

I feel guilty, though, because Alec’s older brother, who just turned 25, also needed braces and wanted them in high school and we, as parents, couldn’t get it together for him.

There’s reasons and excuses.  But, mostly, in all honesty, the fact is; Lucie and I aren’t very organized or effective at getting things done and we were less so ten years ago.

Cos has had to endure the steeper side of our learning curve as parents and adults and it isn’t fair to him.

If I had a time machine, well . . . I’d likely screw up the space time continuum and wreck the universe as we know it.

But Cos would have straightened teeth.


This time machine only travels to the future.

Alec, when you look back, or when your kids or grandkids look back, this was the day.

This was the day you got your braces.

officially a teenager

officially a teenager

You Needn’t Read This

the other day

maybe yesterday

a guy came to the door

and rang the bell

and our dogs barked

all stupid

so I answered the door

he was a young guy

with a tee shirt

and a clipboard

and the cold air

in my house

tried to escape

but the hot air

in the world

pushed in

while the young guy

with a name tag

on his tee shirt

said things

like we’re in the area

and special offer

and help keep teens off drugs

then he licked

his own eye

with a flick

of his tongue

and . . . .wait

it was a dream

yeah, I can tell

it was a dream

Vici the robot

from Small Wonder

was there

only it wasn’t her

and you glazed over

when I said

it wasn’t her

because there’s nothing

more boring than


to dreams

with all the things

that are one thing

but really

another thing

so, yeah, I can tell

it was a dream



I just










© Steve Mitchell 2014

Maybe Life

around and in
the Earth’s song


© Steve Mitchell 2014

Fake Lake With Real Turtles and Fish and Ducks


late dinner -
we throw croutons
on the water


© Steve Mitchell 2014

In Our Mugs


killing time
a little evening coffee
it’s killing time
the cicadas drone
and the day pulls


© Steve Mitchell 2014

Not Even a Breeze

I sit on a plain, wooden stool with a polished, round seat.

A plain, plaster wall runs to my left.  Behind me, it meets the plain, plaster wall to my right.

I am alone with the walls and the stool.

I sit on the stool.

I look to the left.

I look to the right.

I hook the heels of my boots on the lower rung.

I twiddle my thumbs.

I check my fingernails.

I sigh.



Here I am, and, umm . . .

I sit, here, on a stool.

And there’s the walls and, ahh, two walls, and, you know.

Oh! and thumbs!  So . . . .



and, umm


I’ve written myself into a corner.


no flies yet but
that cobweb sure
catches the light


© Steve Mitchell 2014

Look South


out the window
while behind him
the TV bleats


© Steve Mitchell 2014

Two Walls


a storm
of turbulent


© Steve Mitchell 2014

From the Sky

Two men stand next to two cars in a grey rest area along an empty, grey interstate, under angry, grey clouds.  They breathe humid, grey air.  They nod to each other.

One asks the other, “What happened to your car?”

“Oh.  I got caught in a hailstorm,” says the other.

The one lets out a long, slow whistle.  “It sure did a number on your car.  Those hailstorms are bad news.  What size was the hail?”


“Yeah, but how big?”

“I don’t know.  Big.”

“Golf ball sized?”

The other shakes his head.  “Bigger.”

“Softball size?”

“No, smaller.”  He holds up a hand, “maybe this big.”

“Racquetball size?”

“Yeah, the size of racquetball sized hailstones.”

The one nods knowingly.

A third man approaches from a nearby third car.  “Hailstorms are nothing!”  His voice is loud.  It disturbs the grey stillness.  “Try getting stuck in a tornado storm!”

The other man shrugs.  “I’ve been in a tornado.”

“No,” says the third man, “a tornado storm – a storm where it actually rains little tornados!”

“What?” asks the one man.

“Little, spinning twisters, hundreds of them, the size of raindrops fall from the sky . . .”

“There’s no such thing.”

“There is.  I’ve seen it.  I got caught in a tornado shower when I was a young man.  It was the most terrible day of my life.  I’d just proposed to my beloved.

There I was, at sunset, on one knee, her hand in my hands as I put the ring on her finger.  She said, ‘Yes, oh yes!  I will marry you!’ then the heavens opened up.

Tornados, little tornados, pelted us – first one, then two, then several, then a deluge.

When they hit, they spun little tracks of destruction.  They pulled and twisted our hair.  They plucked at our clothing.  They ripped up the grass and the flowers and threw sod in all directions.

Then, in what can only be considered the worst luck imaginable, several of the little devils which had landed on my fiancé, spun in exactly the same direction and carried her off!  I tried to hold her.  I held her hand, half blind as I was by the damnable twisters in my face and beard.  But they were too strong.  She was lost.  All that remained was her engagement ring, my grandmother’s ring, still in my hand.”

The three men contemplate this in grey silence.

“I don’t believe it,” says the other man.

“I still have the ring.  Here, see for yourself.”  The third man holds out a ring.

“That’s a cigar band,” says the other man.

“Huh.”  The third man furrows his brow.  “So it is.  I’ll have to rethink this entire story.”

The heavens open up.  Raindrops the size of mothball sized hailstones fall on the men.  They hurriedly wave their goodbyes and get in their cars.

They drive away in the grey storm.


© Steve Mitchell 2014


When They’re Not Writing Shakespeare

I’m sure chimps
point and laugh at each other
all the time
what with their roller skates
and the banana peels


© Steve Mitchell 2014


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,764 other followers