BellaOnline Literary Review
Kooki Kool 2 by Mark Berkery


Waiting to Buy Tickle Me Elmo

Kristin Roedell

The line leans around the Max Factor display,
winds past Santa’s fleeced lap;
it undulates among
the Styrofoam nutcrackers
on Candy Cane Lane.
It is a live thing, sinuous
and spiraled.

There is the earthy alkaline
smell of coffee. Lattes brew,
mothers step out to order,
children with red and white
pom pom hats are left
with instructions to "hold fast"
with elbowed ferocity.

Ladies who serve together on the PTA,
gossiping and stringing
pinatas for the Spanish party,
stand stiff and silent.
There is, there always is,
one mother in a bottle green
silk suit, who corners the clerk
in the shelving department
with a hundred dollar bill.

Twenty million years
of whales singing,
coral clinging,
and geese southing
have come to this:
canned Silent Night,
mall Christmas sales,
a scuffle by the food court

Tickle me Elmo laughing.

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Winter Solstice 2011 Table of Contents