Why Stick Your Neck Out?

Dear Miss Pond,


I’m happy my daughter has taken an interest in history,

we must learn from it if we are going to make credible analogies

between dead dictators and presidential candidates,

but she has turned a little curiosity into a dangerous obsession.


She travels through time and switches accused witches

with mannequins seconds before the flames devour them.

There are 6 no-name 16th century women sleeping

on my daughter’s floor. She’s recently rescued Joan of Arc,


who says God does not approve of my television viewing

(which is B.S. God loves the NFL and she’s just a freaking

soccer fan.) I sympathize with my daughter’s feelings. It’s awful

that these women were tortured and killed. But as I keep saying


it’s none of our business. Why stick your neck out

for some woman who lived centuries ago?

How can I get my girl to listen? Get her to take a less

hands-on approach? Maybe interest her in becoming a librarian?




                    Frustrated and Concerned Father



Dear Frustrated Concern,


You are mistaken about responsibility:

every human life is the business of us all.


While I understand your worry for your daughter

          (what parent wouldn’t want their child locked

          in a closet where they’d never skin a knee,

          break a bone, sleep with someone

          who has a venereal disease?)

I must side with her.

                                        You cannot keep a child


from risks. Even if you trapped her

in her room, there is still faulty wiring,

          forest fires, sudden

                    volcanic eruption,

                              meteorite strikes.


You say you’d prefer if your daughter

was a librarian; but isn’t she

                    already doing that work?


I admit I am biased here; in my youth

I travelled back in time and whispered insults

in the ears of great scoundrels on their death beds.


          (I particularly enjoyed

          the face of Henry


          the eighth when I told him

          both his daughters


          would sit on the throne

          and that Elizabeth


          ensured no Tudor

          would rein after her.)


Time travel is dangerous

and your daughter

                              is in peril

of altering history, but           unfortunately

that is the risk

                    of every single day lived.

Let her do her work,

though you should share your concerns.

          P.S. Please remember that God

          has never given a damn

          about American football.


Jennifer Lynn Krohn was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she currently lives with her husband. She earned her MFA from the University of New Mexico, and she currently teaches English at Central New Mexico Community College. Jennifer is a member of the Dirt City Writers. She has published work in Necessary Fiction, Connotation Press, In the Garden of the Crow, Yellow Chair Review, and Gingerbread House Literary Magazine among others.