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Todd Mercer

Bassett Park, 1983

Sure, we fought among ourselves. Sometimes tempers
flared due to friction and over-familiarity, close walls.
But let an outsider mess with any one of us? Every quarrel
went on hold. The persecutor faced a big problem
with the entire neighborhood. United in mutual defense.
Tommy Ridenour cut another boy with a knife,
there at Bassett Park. Damn near bled out. That delinquent
would mess with anyone, without apparent rationale.
Months later police came for him on an unrelated matter,
appearing in force at his door. The kid Tommy cut
improvised proactively, made a distraction, cover enough
that his attacker got away and over the river.
Neighborhood to the Nth degree. Old School style.


Todd Mercer (who writes because it’s cheaper than drugs) was nominated for Fiction and Poetry Pushcarts last year. His collection Ingenue was published in 2020 by Celery City Press. Recent work appears in Praxis, The Lake and Star 82 Review.

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