Washes the Other

by on May 20, 2016

Try to dig thorns from your own hands.
Now let someone use both of theirs
to clear the fester that’s too self
for The Self to maneuver.
What a challenge to disprove the value
of cooperation. May as well dog out
opposable thumbs. Thanks
for having my back. Glad to
cover yours. Get some shut-eye.
It’s crazy to go this world solo
and sit constant watch. I could worry
the wood and infection from my own fingers,
but not quickly, perhaps not extract
the complete prickers. They break to pieces.
Or I ask for assistance. I offer it to,
what help these two hands can manage.
We should be freer with it, faster
to see the case for interdependence.
Try lifting yourself completely off the ground.
When that doesn’t happen, call me over.


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 at Right Hand Pointing. Mercer’s recent poetry and fiction appear in Bartleby Snopes, Eunoia Review, Magnolia Review, The Lake, Literary Orphans, Main Street Rag Anthologies, SOFTLOW Journal and Two Cities Review.

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