January 16, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Tom Driggers photo



Sean Kelbley




We Tried “Talk Like The President Day” At School



and it went great! Orange comb-overs, crafted from stapled construction paper and affixed to little skulls with Elmer’s Glue, transformed the students into raging assholes. They called each other losers, morons, Little So-and-Sos. Some acted blind or crippled, just for laughs. Every sport bragged of their superb sportiness while mocking all the other sports. Even Girl and Boy Scouts cut in line.


Very stable geniuses refused their maintenance meds and torched the trash cans. Mrs. Grady/Pocahontas wished she hadn’t hung dream-catchers in the library. 4B barraged the lunch ladies with tater-tots until they got free pizza. 6th Grade asked, why is it only kids from shithole rooms like kindergarten who try to cross into the intermediate playground? They used up recess braying for a wall.


The mayor’s son was caught colluding on a science test, but denied it (as well as science). He implicated Bobby Hutchison and told the principal that Mrs. Watson uses Facebook on her cell phone during testing. If only every parent had embraced the spirit of the day as fully as did his, brushing aside the call from school as very unfair—more fake news from a failing source! Instead, we got a lot of flack about unwanted touching, although the children tried to tell their moms and dads and grandparents and other randomly associated adults that that’s what winners do.


Therefore: the Talk Like Justin Trudeau

and the Talk Like Angela Merkel and the

Talk Like the Prime Minister of Norway

Days. But nothing really cleared the air

until we Talked Like Pirates. Kids know

how presidents and pirates are supposed

to talk. What a day that was! Everybody

wearing Long John Silver’s paper hats

and having fun and saying arrrrrrrrgh.

Everybody calling one another matey.






Sean Kelbley

Sean Kelbley

Sean Kelbley works as an elementary school counselor in southeastern Ohio, where he lives on a farm with his husband in a house they built themselves. A past contributor to Tuck Magazine, he has additional work published or forthcoming at Crab Creek Review, Poets Reading the News, and Rise Up Review.

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