Instead of asking the young

why they leave, the town votes

for mannequins in cafe windows.


Just imagine, the mayor boasts,

if this works we can expand

to schools and church pews!


Some say they should polish

them like postcards. Others want

to be sure they don’t show skin.


Everyone agrees they’ll hum

all the old songs, never ask about

trans-fats or almond milk.


They won’t mine for better jobs,

jam distant cities into search engines,

jar dreams, wager change drawers


on highways and stuff potential

into overburdened hatchbacks. Never

will the sap of their ambition


fill the potholes of distant streets,

melt into the hearty ridges of

a thicker slice, or wake up full.


by Alison Terjek

Alison Terjek is an aspiring writer living in Northwest Connecticut. She has recently published poems in The Adirondack Review. She is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University and Park Nature Interpreter.  She volunteers in her community, writes, travels and hikes whenever possible.

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