Carney A. Lentz

65 N Union St
Mauston, WI 53948

Carney A. Lentz was born in Wisconsin in 1978. He graduated from Viterbo University (La Crosse, WI) in 2001. He currently lives in Mauston, Wisconsin and teaches high school English at Mauston High School. In March 2013, The Collected Chaff: Version 1.0 was published. 

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On The Highway

On the highway doing 70,
radio volume set at 30,
screaming along with
Peter, Paul, and Mary.

White store, weathered gray,
“PRAY” the only word on its
yellow sign.

“That’s what I’m doin’
every day.”

Break for a dead cat,
hold its tail with a folded
piece of resume paper,
and move it to the
side of the road,
there is more dignity
in the tall grass.

“I slipped on the shoulder
and landed on my ass.
Guess that is the cost.”

Bloody gravel chips from
my palms become floorboard
relics. Let the healing begin.

Care Givers

When she yelled out in pain,
you comforted her.

It became your pain;
you were desperate to help.

I was humbled at your disappointment when you could not.

At 2:00 a.m. when she wanted ice,
you brought it to her with a spoon.

Often you had to help
feed her the ice chips.

My heart is warmed by the cool relief you brought her.

When she needed a sympathetic ear,
you listened and made no judgments.

You comforted her,
allowed her anxiety to go.

When I cried out with her last breath
you were there to comfort me.

You joined me
in sadness.

You also shared the relief that her pain was gone.

(Dedicated to the staff of four center at Gundersen Lutheran—May 21, 2010)