TW: BULLYING, DEATH, ALLUSION TO SUICIDE
Jobs To Do
Even though you were just a child,
the people of the town wanted you dead,
wanted to see your mother suffer.
The news desk told us this
when we wrote to complain
that their handling was cruel.
It took them a month to write back.
They’re busy people, you know?
Local celebrities, in high demand to cover news.
Ribbon cuttings, hail storms,
the aurora far overhead.
Hot dogs on sale at Safeway.
It took them ten minutes to make it to the mall,
where your mom was just trying to sell silly hats.
Make somebody laugh, keep their ears warm.
“Ma’am! How do you feel
that your son shot himself,
and did you know your house is on fire?”
They didn’t say your name.
But they broadcast her wails.
The collapse of a heart.
The hot ash of a family.
Chad Musick is an American writer and mathematician who lives in Japan with his family. His novel Not My Ruckus was published in February 2021, and his short work has been featured in Terse, Moonchild Magazine, Anti-Heroin Chic and elsewhere.