npr autumn fundraiser
by Ken Taylor

this is the kind of tragedy that touches my life –
not what the station reports: somalia, darfur, haiti.
it’s a bucolic ride in before free trade cappuccino,
prius spooking an ambitious peloton
on the winding road mid-week.
i poke the button, so much our routine even
my teenage daughters knuckling under for
a narrative on sustainable roof farming in yemen,
a lament on the demise of the moog synthesizer.
and yet, since everything can be justified
it’s a dead mouse found in the bottom of the toaster
wintering, then obviously not,
and me with a mouthful of toast.
knitting needles piercing tympanic membranes:
heavy rotation of the purulent alternative.
no i can’t imagine me and a friend on the champs-elysées
for a nominal donation in the next fifteen minutes.
or plates of chanterelles with diane rehm
and her pooch for a few shekels more.
they know it’s waterboarding because they offer
a reduction of days if we collectively
give enough to scale back the onslaught.
i forget how long this lasts. a fortnight?
hopefully oprah or bill gates is suffering too
and will cut a big enough check before morning.

Copyright © 2023 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.