My Boyhood Paper Route

Heading out to my first open mic of the month but I got today’s poem done just in time. If you’re in Carrboro come out to Oasis at 7pm tonight and you just might hear me read it.

And today is actually a special day: Two for Tuesday! Pick one prompt or use both, your choice!

  • Write a worst case poem. What’s the worst that could happen?
  • Write a best case poem. Take the worst and reverse it!


My Boyhood Paper Route

Best case scenario:
the big black dog will bark
at me from behind their front door.

But it was the worst case
that wound up my mind
as I pedaled my route
stomach quivering
as the bag lightened
with each delivery.

What if he’s loose?

What if he’s angry?

What if his bark
isn’t worse
than his bite?

Will I struggle
home bloodied
or be found dead
on their porch
paper in hand
already red?

About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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11 Responses to My Boyhood Paper Route

  1. JeanMarie says:

    A pun!
    What fun.
    (Does this count as my poem of the day?)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa Tomey says:

    You always have that one last piece that gets me in the ahhah!! Or is is HAHA? Good one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Patty says:

    Good luck tonight!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Violet Lentz says:

    Excellent play in your close! I hear myself behind the door saying to my big black dogs, “That paperboy has no idea you’ll kiss him to death does he?” Wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. Fortunately, my fear of that particular dog did not metastasize into a general fear of the species and now being kissed to death by big black dogs would be an acceptable way to go.


  5. Clever! Put a smile 😊 on my face!

    Liked by 1 person

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