Mike Berger is an MFA, PhD. He is a retired and writes poetry and short stories full time. He has been writing poetry for less than two years. His work appear in seventy-one journals. He has published two books of short stories and seven poetry chapbooks, He is a member of The Academy of American Poets. poetry chapbooks, He is a member of The Academy of American Poets.
I am a scientist and have an inquisitive mind.
I decided to investigate a problem voiced
by my wife.
Often, when she washes clothes, one
of the sock she put in the laundry turns up
missing. She puts in ten socks and only
comes out with nine.
I tried an experiment. I carefully counted
ten socks and put them into the washer.
When the wash was finished, I found only
I searched carefully, but the tenth sock
was gone. I hypothesized it was taken
by a gremlin with a fetish for socks. I
searched everywhere for his trove.
Try as I might, I couldn’t find his cashe.
There is only one conclusion I can draw.
That cunning little imp eats those socks
Sky bright as a noon day.
Awakened my old dog.
Took my 12gauge.
Old Rex didn’t understand
can’t hunt at night.
Making our way,
flashing green lights.
Shucked in a shotgun shell;
old Rex barked.
Little green man;
sci-fi stories got it wrong.
Creature was uglier
than my mother-in-law.
Sensing our approach;
Staccato mechanical voice.
“I come in peace, take me
to your leader, but take me
to your restroom first.
The Big Event
There isn’t much to do. Promptly
at 10 o’clock they roll up the sidewalks.
You can travel to the next city and
attend the high school football games..
There is one exception to this blaw
homogenized place. Town folks look
forward to it like a kid looks forward to
Christmas. They don’t use calendars;
they mark time by the big event. It’s
when the only store in town holds its
annual sock sale.
The sale is the chance for the townsfolk
to strip off the thin veneer of civility.
The sale lasts for four hours and it’s
catch as catch can. The only rule is
no lethal weapons allowed. Two hundred
people jammed in the 40 x 40 room,
bashing and thrashing each other over
pairs of socks.
The sox are just an excuse to let down their
hair. You have bragging rights when you’ve
been bashed by an old lady’s purse. You
grab and armload of socks and tuck it tightly
under your arm. With the other arm you fight
off the would be sock bandits. You really
haven’t arrived until you’ve spilt a little blood.
The frenzy lasts until noon
When the clock strikes twelve,
the sox all go off sale and there is no
excuse to bludgeon your neighbor.
Everyone smiles and are friends again
until they do it again next year.