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Nightswimmer Junior, Daylighting


Nightswimmer Junior also gigs in day hours as a salty pubtender
at Bellaire’s leading brewpub. She likes it as work goes,
but feels complicit when Ms. Sandy & Ole Morris
drink six or seven hours before sideswiping
strings of parked cars as dusk settles
on the Bridge Street drag. Everyone in Greater Antrim
at least knows of her, but none sense the source
of psychic fuel that drives her through weekend doubles
when gaggles of overgrown fratsters and pinched-face salespeople
take a break from golf or misery, but not their shared entitlement.
Easy to identify the potential harassers and the misers
who refuse to tip. Even so Junior comes here
some of her free days and plays the role of customer.
There’s little to do in tiny towns, besides belly up
and/or work the counter. Plus of course, there’s big water.
She will go there after closing, arrive thirsty for relief,
and leave filled to the gills with what she swims for.


Todd Mercer was nominated for Best of the Net in 2018. Mercer won 1st, 2nd & 3rd place of the Kent County Dyer-Ives Poetry Prizes and the won Grand Rapids Festival Flash Fiction Prize. His digital chapbook, Life-wish Maintenance, was edited by Laura M. Kaminski and can be read free at Right Hand Pointing. Recent work appears in: 100 Word Story, The Lake, Leaves of Ink, Literary Orphans, The Pangolin Review, Praxis Magazine Online and Soft Cartel. He’s writing from the bustling Grand Rapids and the laconic Antrim County, Michigan.

Todd Mercer’s “Nightswimmer” poems have appeared in various venues, including at Praxis Magazine Online. You can read more of the series here.

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