Two Poems

Lisa Timpf

The Day Politeness Revealed Its Limits

Alien dwelling
unearthed on Mars—
Canadian explorers

“After you.”
“No, no, after you.”

A shuffling sound
from deep within—
they flee, each vying
to take the lead.

Blackbeard Returns as a Porch Pirate

Edward sits at the helm of the luxury SUV,
its steering wheel wooden, spoked, decked out
like that of an old-time sailing ship;
drives with the window open,
the slap of wind against his hirsute face
reminding him of the high seas, the open water.

His warehouse contains pilfered booty
carefully inventoried, all of which gets posted
for sale online. The office area includes
a workout room—treadmills and weights—
maintaining a certain fitness level helps his staff
hurdle flower beds, sprint down driveways, elude irate guard dogs.

There’s an in-house cafeteria, video game stations and
leather couches. It’s all about employee retention
these days. His own quarters contain
a well-stocked bookcase and nautical knick-knacks,
to remind him of old times. He’s replaced the pistols
and dagger with box-cutters and a custom Glock.

The daily routine is easy—attach a GPS tracker
to a parcel delivery van, then trundle in its wake.
Sometimes, the packages have already been
spirited into the house by the time they get there,
making Edward grind his teeth at the thought of lost
opportunity. But often enough, the crew

finds parcels waiting, ripe for the taking. Opening
the cartons back at the warehouse evokes
echoes of Christmas morning. The gaming stations.
The high-end speakers. The 3D printers. Drones.
Watches. Fashion accessories. Sure, there’s the
odd disappointment, like the jumbo box of adult diapers

plucked from the porch of a modest brick bungalow.
Even that fails to faze him. Anything will sell,
priced right. The lifestyle suits. Edward keeps
regular hours, which pleases the many women
who enter and leave his life. If he misses
cannons and ocean chases, he doesn’t let on.

Lisa Timpf is a retired HR and communications professional who lives in Simcoe, Ontario. Her speculative poetry has appeared in Star*Line, New Myths, Liminality, Apparition Lit, Polar Borealis, and other venues. She has had over 30 speculative fiction pieces published in zines and anthologies, including Third Flatiron, Future Days, and From a Cat’s View. You can find out more about Lisa’s writing at