Guest Writer – Poem

by Daniel Stormont, Lake Michigan College Student

In The Moment


I’m riding passenger, we go under the stop light on Main 

past the gas station where my friend Donny worked as a kid

when Jenny asks me if I’m okay, I grit my teeth at the Dollar General

thinking this lot used to be my Uncle Mary’s farmhouse

Am I okay seems like a funny question in the moment Rite Aid

has one of those Santa guys with a bell out front Am I okay? Is Santa

okay? He looks cold


My Jenny is a good wife, she worries about me

the kids the stress of her job, she stops at the light I smell McDonald’s

she looks at me while Lou Reed sings Perfect Day she asks if everything is

going to be okay

should she worry? Today is Tuesday. She wipes the windshield

on the inside I tell her everything will be fine, Main Street

behind us she’s driving too slow, Christmas is

only a week away while outside Walmart there’s a man with no shirt

who catches my eye with nowhere to go


I crack the window to smell the December air, feel cold

drops of winter rain cool my face until the Jeep starts to fog up

the inside windows, my Jenny is bothered but doesn’t complain


Windows up we step into the driveway snow where

my Converse grow cold my toes hate me for wearing them, there’s Mike to greet

us at the door, his Misfits T-shirt no sleeves kind eyes

some things never change his house smells like incense

and dogs, he’s watching Jeopardy for the millionth time, his wife Mel offers hugs for

our coats, sitting on the floor while Sinead O’connor sings

Irish heartache


Mike speaks of old days, we laugh at memories and smile

with fondness over early versions of ourselves, I twist the cap off my Coke

smell the fizz hissing alive from inside- DuPont won and young people will

never know the way Coke was meant to taste!- I gripe like an old man

like those last two books by Vonnegut


I-Phone 7 vibrates against

the floor, my Grandpa said you can’t carry the weight of

the world on your shoulders, but he’s dead and Jenny is asking if I’ll

answer my phone, I know what it’s going to say, Doctor Badnews

only calls to make you cry when you’re not ready


there’s no way of stopping Cancer, I put the phone to my head,

I want to be sixteen watching Quantum Leap on

TV, I put the phone to my ear, I want an Orange Crush in

the summer sun. The man speaks everyone is looking

at me Jenny cries at my expression which I cannot fake, across the room I see Alex Trebek

in his last days of Jeopardy and I think it is going to be okay

no matter what


*The Buchanan Chronicle wishes to provide a venue for guest writers to be showcased. We may edit but only for typos, language, or length; as we desire to present submissions as received.*

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