“Have you heard the good news?”
asks a stranger holding leaflets
at my front door while I stand there
in my old style Fruit of the Looms.
My appearance doesn’t faze him.
Cold calling evangelists for Jesus
force a nuclear response, once
they roll out their sales pitches.
Yes, I’ve heard, I can’t avoid it.
Heard the bad news too. I scratch
my personal area, adjust myself
but he plunges forward, keeps talking.
I say I have primo dope to smoke
if he could wrap things up here.
No dice, he’s an excuse deflector.
He says Jesus can wait for me
’til my head is in the right place.
He’s still pushing his worldview
as I close the door on him.
He stays on the porch in case I
change my mind and want to listen.
I dress, slip out the back way,
in search of a place to find some peace.
Todd Mercer writes from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was nominated for Best of the Net in 2018. Recent work appears in The Lake, Leaves of Ink, Mojave River Review and Praxis Magazine.