Wellhead Revisited
[Trinity Ridge series]


Someone’s painting crosses
on the stones of the well
where they found poor McCracken’s body.
Every time someone goes missing, there’s another cross.
You’d think Bear and his crew
would have run out of enemies by now.
The Feds rolled in last year, made noise,
questioned persons of interest. Then they got a call
and left town without saying they’d be back.

The next week, painted crosses.
Body in the creek bed, body in a briar patch,
body beneath a tobacco field.
The soil yields a bumper crop.
Trinity needs replacement citizens to compensate
for those who cross Bear or have their own ideas.
Come on out to the knobs, New Folks.
There’re plenty of openings.
Housing’s so affordable. Dig in.

Someone’s painting crosses
so we’ll know: don’t drink the water.
Don’t ask the realtor where our people keep going.
Let them go. The Feds can’t crack it,
or else even they lack the juice to out the truth.
There’s no chance for lesser entities.
Don’t go asking pointed questions
that will bring the answer to your door.





TODD MERCER won the Dyer-Ives Kent County Prize for Poetry, the National Writers Series Poetry Prize and the Grand Rapids Festival Flash Fiction Award. His digital chapbook, Life-wish Maintenance, appeared at Right Hand Pointing. Mercer’s recent poetry and fiction appear in The Lake, Literary Orphans, Plum Tree Tavern, Split Lip Magazine and Vending Machine Press. Mercer and his wife Michaeleen Kelly recently made their motion picture acting debuts in Return of the Scarecrow.

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