Mutual Empathy

 

road walking cute young
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I hold my five year old’s hand and say, “Surprise me.”  Eyes closed, remembering a stubbed toe, my bare feet inch forward expecting Matchbox cars left on the carpet.

Though I can’t see, I can feel the closeness of a hall. Maybe it leads to the playroom where the floor is littered with Legos, Brios, and baby dolls having tea next to stuffed bears. “You can open your eyes, Mama.” The space is neat, the blocks stacked in their chest, the animals lounging on shelves. Picnic’s black button nose glints white. Jaimie holds him tight and says, “We cleaned up.”

Cockney Shrew

stairs travel business work
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“Bright and breezy, ham and cheesy,”1 I says to him. Big fellow he were. Blimey! He were a bit Mum and Dad2. So I steps away. He’s talking with a Gooseberry Puddin’3, a right attractive bird. She’s Toby Tugging4 a suitcase and he’s going all Wayne Rooney5 on her. He says, “Come back and Jabberwok6.” If only he’d see how it looks. Needs a ‘Enry7. A big, fat doobie. Might calm him some. Lor’ luv a duck. Kept i’ ter meself. Bear’s Paw8 ‘e were a cop. Nuff said.

1  Easy

2  Mad

3  Woman

4  Lugging

5  Looney

6  Talk

7  Marijuana (an eighth)

8  I saw

Anticipating the End of a Two Hundred Year Experiment

silhouette of fireman holding hose
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At the moment the latest Supreme Court nominee took the oath of office, Lady Liberty felt a hand grope her under the tattered robes of democracy she wore for the occasion. It was a small hand. A hand practiced at conspiracy, graft and corruption.

In front of the assembled crowd, she began to crumble. Her head fell off. Then her arms. The concrete at the foundations of her feet turned to sand. The audience morphed into animal figures that resembled the twisted cubes of pain and fear in Picasso’s Guernica. When the onlookers appeared in grayscale, America’s destruction was complete.