“Three Smokers” by Thomas N. Dennis

all are losing their hair
hands loosely clasped
between their legs
(one almost hears a woman
saying Do something
with your hands, guys)
none of them show rings
but marriage isn’t far off
one will go crazy from alcohol
within a few years
two will continue on at work
driving into the city daily
for decades
and at last ah
retirement
and the final thinning
the last breath


Thomas N. Dennis lives and writes near Lovick, Alabama. This piece appears in his new book of songs, poems, and haibun, Wings Match Mask from Feritas Press. His website is http://merefiction.com. His haibun “Chickenchasers” appeared is in the Steel Toe Review: Volume 1 Anthology.

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“Chickenchasers” by Thomas N. Dennis

I wish I had remembered to see the writing on the side of that van. We heard the rooster crowing in the late afternoon, so mournful out there in the honeysuckle, his crowing only half-hearted like a dog that, changing its mind about barking, half-swallows its woof. A muffled “doodle” here and a choked “do” there. Dogs nearby began rounds of puzzled barking. Shortly thereafter, a van came and parked in the circle. Two men in t-shirts and blue jeans quickly found it — flash of russet and red — took it protestingly away while we all watched from the porch. The dogs quieted down.

poultry retrieval
fowl relocation program
cockfight mafia


Thomas N. Dennis lives and writes near Lovick, Alabama. He’s been experimenting with haibun lately. His website is http://merefiction.com