Joe Cottonwood




Welcome, Stranger

The half dozen gray geese
in our town’s central pond
used to strut out on the road
to attack trucks. Grills, tires. Pecking.
If you honked a car horn at them,
then you were speaking their language.
They’d hiss and cuss you out.
The folks in town got so fed up
with those geese that we did exactly that:
fed up on them.

So, stranger,
welcome to our local tavern.
Let me buy you a drink.
Just don’t cuss anybody.





Joe Cottonwood has worked as a carpenter, plumber, and electrician for most of his life. He is the author of nine published novels, a book of poetry, and a memoir. He lives in La Honda, California, where he built a house and raised a family. His most recent book is 99 Jobs: Blood, Sweat, and Houses  Website:

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