Kevin Acers lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, their cat, and a potted plant names Fronds Kafka. His writings appear in Red River Review, Oklahoma Review, The Prose-Poem Project, Illya’s Honey, The Centrifugal Eye, Z-Composition, and Decades Review. His book, Time Machine: Prose Poems and Vignettes, is available at Amazon. He is working on a second collection, Dead Mouse Poems, with publication expected later this year.
By Kevin Acers
“Say pocket!” demands the four-year-old with stern anticipation.
“Pocket,” I comply.
“You’ve got a POCKET full of CLOTHESPINS!”
Barely breathing from the excitement of her retort, she continues with compulsive insistence.
“Say pocket!” (Pocket.)
“You’ve got a POCKET full of BEANS! Say pocket!” (Pocket.)
“You’ve got a POCKET full of EYEBALLS! Say pocket!” (Pocket.)
“You’ve got a POCKET full of SCISSORS! Say pocket!”
(And so on.)
Items which per her report are contained in my pocket include:
Turning the tables I inform her that she herself has a pocket filled with the following:
Academy Awards for sound editing
Thai peanut sauce
just a hint of nutmeg
a test of the Emergency Broadcast System
She screams with giddy delight at the news that her pocket contains these various mysteries.
Soon she regains control and compels me again to say pocket.
“You’ve–” (she’s sputtering with giggles) “got a POCKET!” (she can barely get it out)–“full of–”
(she struggles to find the word, her face blank for a moment until she cries out explosively)
“BUTTER!” and she collapses on the ground rippling with laughter.
I imagine her employing this rhetorical gambit throughout her life.
To a schoolyard bully of heavy girth, with a sneer: “You’ve got a pocket full of neck.”
In hungry whispers to a puzzled lover: “You’ve got a sweet pocket full of caramelized onion bisque.”
To a cohort of philosophy students: “I sense you have a pocket full of existential vacuum.”
Telling a joke at a party: “And so I say to the guy, ‘Hey! You’ve got a pocket full of leprechauns!'”
If she resorts to mugging: “You’ve got a pocket full of what belongs to me.”
In her professional capacity as a medical doctor: “I’m afraid you have a pocket full of streptococcus.”
At her wedding:
“You’ve got a pocket full of me.”
In a political confrontation: “You, sir, have a pocket full of ignorant assumptions. Now again, please.
Say pocket. No? Let me simply point out that were my opponent to concede to say pocket, I would feel
obligated to point out that he has a pocket full of feeble excuses in lieu of sound fiscal policy.”
Finally, on her death bed, mumbled to her loved ones straining to hear:
“You’ve got a pocket full of heart.” And with her last breath: “I have got a pocket full of pockets.”