Ingenue Grew Up Near Logan Square


Ingenue slips out the kitchen door, into the grid
of interlocking streets. She has to see the world,
has to, an imperative rooted in her. She wants knowledge,
this optimistic life-lover known already for finding
kind people while dodging calamity. What you send out
comes back, on the average. Karma is shaped
roughly like a boomerang’s path. During a daydream,
Ingenue trips over train tracks, but corrects before falling.
Her grace pairs with good luck as if one were causal
of the other. Ingenue’s father wonders where these inquiries
drive her feet to, but he doesn’t worry overly.
He knows what she’s made of, doesn’t let anxiety
lead him to mess with a necessary journey, meddle
with a mode that works well enough.
In the fresh hours of this new day, Ingenue searches
for confirmation. She thrives on sights, discovery.
She may or may not touch the soles of her shoes
to the sidewalks of Milwaukee Avenue. May be
barely levitating, bending the law of gravity,
less a law and more a suggestion.





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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