Sunday, October 11, 2015

Todd Mercer- Three Poems

When the Dooryard Lilacs
It’s still May to early June for some of you,
and God bless if so, though the rest of us
are hobbled, cobbled back together, ends
and pieces, tire-tracked, near-greased,
glad to have our teeth. Skittish slightly,
made too superstitious to complain, the list
of patches, chronic maladies
as dull to hear chronicled
as a phone book read aloud, to the crowd
who haven’t advanced past their pinch-points,
to breaking and re-breaking,
the craft of repair so rarely
mastered while the sun shines,
when the dooryard lilacs full-bloom,
easy beauty, temporary immortality.

Apparently Argentina
Running a state takes active maintenance.
Ours is falling down around our ears,
administratively speaking, while our guy’s
been out for weeks… …hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Or doing something. That’s not my business.
I just field the press inquiries. Our guy’s handlers
package the message, I break verbal tackles
at a podium. The wheels are flying off
inside the state capitol, a wreck in progress
while our guy gets in tune with nature.
Or those weird rumors I’ve heard. None of my concern.
You learn early in the P.R. trade
not to poke holes in functional narratives.
They’re tough enough to spin. If a sniff of salacious
counter-stories hit the papers, I’m there, on point,
in gear, doing what I do. We’d shift to firefighting mode.
The Governor’s an avid hiker. Maybe he simply forgot
to call his wife and say that he’s okay.
They pay me for quelling panic,
not for breaking news.

Halcyon Springs
her hair
touched the creek,
wet curls on the ends.
A hundred degrees heat-slake,
wading in the spring-fed water, clothes on the mud-bank.
If you’ve heard anything better,
tell us, spread the joy.
A yard long,
cold springs,

TODD MERCER won the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts Flash Fiction Award for 2015, the first Woodstock Writers Festival Flash Fiction Award and two Kent County Dyer-Ives Poetry Prizes. His digital chapbook, Life-wish Maintenance appeared in 2015 at Right Hand Pointing. Mercer’s recent poetry and fiction appear in: Bartleby Snopes, Blink Ink, Dunes Review, Eunoia Review, Kentucky Review, The Lake, The Legendary, Literary Orphans, Lost Coast Review, Main Street Rag Anthologies, Midwestern Gothic and Softblow Journal.   

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