Anyone with sense holds back
from jumps off break-walls into swirling storm waters.
The waves can smack you back up against them
scrape you over the rip-rap boulders
not far under the shifting surface.
Except me, I can’t skip challenges.
Maybe that’s why I traveled to a contentious
Turkey Day, battle royale of familiar co-antagonists,
united by blood, marriage, co-habitation
more than common mores, views on political news.
Sensed a circus, should’ve sent regrets. Instead
I armed myself with a pale shadow
of my Grandma’s ginger ale Jello. Walked in
partly optimistic, but hedged, parked pointing away
where no one could block me in. I left my shoes on.
Minutes in an eager beaver dove deep, mentioned Congress.
Like they came to sabotage it—the holiday truce. The meal.
Adults shucked their kid gloves. In a jif two tribes formed up—
Peaceniks versus Nationalists. The two oldest professions.
Fuel to fire, of course, and those already drinking
only drank faster. Each dishonest Straw Man theory
projected unsupported beyond the previous.
preposterous claim. And on like that, again.
Anyone with sense would kiss their mother
on the way out with their Jello,
volunteer to work on holidays.
Todd Mercer’s short collection, Ingenue, won the Celery City contest. His digital chapbook, Life-wish Maintenance, was edited by Laura M. Kaminski and is available for free at Right Hand Pointing. Recent work appears in Blink Ink, Fictive Dream, and Six Sentences.