Stopgap

Chernicia and her loyal band of
roving youth choir administrators
saw no choice
other than to take up stopgap freelance work.

Due to a general malaise
and rapidly-growing apprehension
toward patronizing or participating in
the performing arts (the anti-exceptionalist
herd mentality showed absolutely no signs of
dissipation as professionals of all stripes
traversed the barren corporate landscape
(a hell to be wished upon no soul)), all hope
seemed lost on the fearful.

Interest in the once-alluring
middle and high school competitive circuit
had been waning steadily for a generation or so,
to the point where even the most stalwart
paper-shuffling masochists out there
had to admit they were licked.

In this devastating climate, Chernicia figured
that some places out there
must
still need to enlist the services
of highly-competent youth choir administrators.

They took an oath in front of the children,
for Christ’s sake!
They vowed, on bended knee,
to make themselves
available for freelance filing (and HR concerns)
at the drop of a hat, whenever duty may come calling.

So just like that, they picked up and left–
no matter what their guts happened to be
telling them (the group’s average duodenum
could paint you the idyllic picture
where they’d carved out a sort of haven
in this life of more uncertainty than trust).

Many tearful (and gut-wrenching) goodbyes
after they developed the steely resolve
to give up their past selves
(for the children, dammit),
the brave and intrepid band set out
on their first assignment: Gurnee, Illinois.

They never did look back.
And to this very day,
rental cars and hotel rooms
still serve as their only refuge
from the vast desert of abandoned office complexes.

Protrusion Trudy

Protrusion Trudy
done did it this time,
dadgummit.
She jutted her elbow out
at just the wrong moment
and now
she has
a scrappy little flotsam/jetsam nugget
at her side
for at least the next couple full moons
(or until she has to
get her oil changed,
whichever comes first).

Poor ol’ Trudy couldn’t possibly
have seen that coming,
unless she were to
actually listen to her friends
every once in a while.

“Hey!
Don’t stick your elbow out there!
You could get a latcher,
or worse,
a lecher!”

The halfhearted plea
for common decency
will always fall
upon deaf ears
wherever Protrusion Trudy is concerned.
She goes on
to this very day,
whamming her elbows
into occupied space

“just the way God made me.”