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Thursday, December 20, 2012


by J.M. Green

December 14, 2012

Had lunch with Jim. It’d been like months. We shelved
work shit – talked girls, our little girls. A choice
unspoken. Something eyes and breaths just delved
into. His talk: importance of her voice
when boys round first base. Mine: importance of
her keeping track of mittens. We agreed
joyful and kind were virtues far above
“gifted.” By God our ladies better bleed
real empathy and social justice! Jim
shared family stuff he never shared before.
The secret turned to silence, not a grim
silence, but strong silence with dad rapport.
We laughed down Ludlow Avenue, both bugged
by Christmas pop songs. We shook hands then hugged.

I drove off, pressed for time. This day was my
day – carpool pick up. We drive because of
school cut backs. More recession bullshit I
adjust my day for. News brooded above
the dashboard like a gray haze. Blindly I
fell in the carpool line at Heritage
Elementary. Not the same school some guy,
no, some fucking crazy psychopath barged
into killing our kids. A saved school for
now – thank God. Parents sat in their cars, I
saw, staring through their hazes. My car doors
opened – Audrey and the neighbor girls – I
switched channels quick. They jumped right into song
with Mariah’s Christmas wish. I stayed strong.

J.M. Green is the author of the chapbook Super Rich (Pudding House, 2008). His work is forthcoming or has been recently published in New Mirage Journal, Ginger Piglet, The Oklahoma Review, Cincinnati Magazine and other journals. Green is a librarian with the Wyoming Branch of The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. He lives in West Chester, OH with his wife and daughter.