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Look down
Jerome Berglund
Berglund picture.jpg

Jerome Berglund

there’s this mat just inside the door of our senior high-rise complex’s entryway leading out to the parking ramp gets a lot of foot traffic but this runner people keep tripping over it I did my dad stumbled too have personally watched three neighbours nearly take diggers who can say how many narrow misses have transpired unwitnessed what severe injuries were just barely avoided perhaps a few have tripped suffered minor or serious spills been bruised or worse these old-timers all have frail bird bones a strong breeze could be mortally dangerous if it hit them at just the wrong time the right angle

part-time Buddha
under forty hours
without benefits

but at the smoking lounge a neighbour just reported to me that she had complained about this to the president of the board re the danger the mat continues to present what constant hazards the credible risk of grievous harm it constantly poses for the building’s occupants in exchange for a small cosmetic benefit preventing mud and snow being tracked across entryway this resident suggested it either be removed or replaced with a sturdier plastic model whose corners don’t curl and hook unsuspecting tootsies

an ant
dying, you dying
negative space

but I guess from what I understand our august president would not hear anything of the sort ‘Just lift your feet’ was her sage counsel indifferent conclusion imaginably accompanied with a shrug and a great rolling of lashy eyes those were the final words on the subject we’ll have to accept this imperfect solution apparently to the best of our ability if we injure ourselves well we’ll have no one but ourselves to blame should have been more careful seems we hear that advice a lot in different iterations about any number of things

Jerome Berglund has worked as everything from dishwasher to paralegal, night watchman to assembler of heart valves. He has published haibun in Cafe Haiku, Contemporary Haibun Online, Drifting Sands, the Other Bunny, Prune Juice, Under the Basho and the Wise Owl. His first full-length collections of poetry Bathtub Poems and Funny Pages were just released by Setu and Meat For Tea press, and a mixed media chapbook showcasing his fine art photography is available now from Yavanika. Read Jerome's blog.

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Meet the author: Jerome Berglund

an interview conducted by Otherwise fiction & non-fiction editor Rosa Sansone

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