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Wednesday, August 01, 2018


by Gilbert Allen

A multi-state lawsuit was filed Monday afternoon that seeks to block a government settlement that would give the public access to downloadable plans for 3D-printed weapons. —CNET, July 30, 2018

Timothy was sound asleep
beside his snoring pup
when at 11:55
his cellphone woke him up.

The toddler got out of bed
exactly as he’d planned
and tiptoed quickly down the stairs                     
to claim his contraband.                                                    

Suspended from the fireplace
(thoughtfully unlit)
a pair of portly pantaloons                                     
seemed just about to split.

And nearly touching the gas logs
a pair of blackened boots
hung with heavy dignity
in artificial soot.

He waited on the bottom step
for Santa to emerge.
Although the toddler longed to speak,
Timothy fought the urge.

Saint Nicholas beheld the tree
besieged by piles of stuff.
He rubbed his beard. He checked his list.
“I think Tim has enough.”

He opened his Emergency Sack
to cram some presents in.
A little face froze into pure
cherubic porcelain.

Tiny Tim beheld the man                                       
and grabbed a plastic gun.
(His father often lectured him
upon The Castle Doctrine.)

In Santa’s sack lay Heavenly Piece.
(He fumbled to confirm it.
Like any self-respecting Claus
he had a carry permit.)

So both invoked Amendment rights
they separately reckoned.
Toddler and Saint both stood their ground.
The First shot; then, the Second.

The plastic gun was not a toy                               
but crafted by Tim’s mother,                                               
who thoughtfully had fired up                              
her 3D copier.                                                                       

So now two lie beside the tree
each in his Xmas red.
Saint Nicholas punches 9-1-1
before his phone goes dead.

Two sleeping parents hold their peace               
behind their bedroom door.
A pit bull plays with a RoboMouse                      
stirring upon the floor.

Gilbert Allen lives in Travelers Rest, South Carolina. His most recent books are Catma and The Final Days of Great American Shopping.