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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 11: January 2022
Prose Poem: 157 words
By Todd Mercer


It’s Terribly Easy to Use Up This Precious Life


Not really immortal, but the closest thing to it in practice, until more friends and loved ones are passed on than the number reachable on Earth. Then comes awareness of fragility, of the racing clock. I read obituaries to make sure I’m not among them. It’s underwhelming as a preservation tactic. More gone on than remaining, so I pack my hours with purpose, try to realize the most important projects sooner. Some worthy pursuits will not be pursued. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. We need extensions. I mean, we can’t help but want them. Can we? Is that a weakness?

Who wants to break the lovely delusion?

When my child asked would I always
be there for her, I let a fib stand.

What befalls parents will later happen
to their children, but let’s keep that under wraps,
a heavy secret between us, as long as possible.

Todd Mercer’s
Issue 11, January 2022

short collection Ingenue won the Celery City contest. His digital chapbook, Life-wish Maintenance, is available for free at Right Hand Pointing. Recent work appears in Blink Ink, Friday Flash Fiction, and Six Sentences.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Ejection Seat by Todd Mercer in Issue 18 of The Fib Review; this poem appears on Clare MacQueen’s resource list, Contemporary Works We Like, in KYSO Flash (predecessor to MacQ).

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