No thanks to the geese who attacked me in the park that caused me drop the bag of corn which led my three year old daughter to having a sort of mental breakdown. No thanks to all the lost socks who by now must know all the secrets of the universe. No thanks to doors that need to be pushed instead of pulled because life is already too easy. No thanks to radio stations who play “Teen Spirit” for the one billionth time. No thanks to people who like to talk about sports or cars and require me to fake my way through a conversation without making smarmy jokes or making me feel like I’m an idiot from Planet Idiot. No thanks to the the worms we cut in half while digging holes for flower bulbs and dead dogs. No thanks to unruly children who have never truly seen the business end of a threat. No thanks to soft-hearted parenting. No thanks to being put on hold. No thanks to the amount of time I’ve lost being put on hold which I’m sure if calculated would present a number large enough to make me seek revenge. No thanks to the obstinately straightforward flow of time. No thanks to always wanting what we don’t need. No thanks to everything I want to do and eat and buy contributing to the destruction of the world. No thanks to my weak-will and cowardice and laziness for not doing anything to actually curb this destruction. No thanks to dogs who still shit in the house. No thanks to a society that still frowns down upon the idea of a stay-at-home father. No thanks to all the years I thought being a stay at home mother was a walk in the park because if it was no one would walk in the park anymore. No thanks to the day that I can’t scoop up my daughters and carry one in each arm. No thanks to the lack of pride we’re allowed to have in cakes that came from boxes. No thanks to the unshakeable strangeness of your child calling you by your real name. No thanks to the people that call you out about making things that come from boxes. No thanks to not knowing how long the good times will last. No thanks to not appreciating them when you are in the thick of them. No thanks to tying back the bread bag with the twist tie. No thanks to the thought of houses being emptied. No thanks to the creator of slime who I haven’t Googled but am positive is a man. No thanks to poetry that causes me to remember that this is all one very short journey that ends in a very long death. No thanks to money. No thanks to the absence of money. No thanks to classical music composers who made it much too too hard for the casual listener to tell any of them apart. No thanks to how kids want to listen and watch the same damn things over and and over and over. No thanks to the folks that sit too close to you in an otherwise empty movie theater. No thanks to people who claim they don’t want to live forever as if they’d already politely declined such an offer. No thanks to trying to keep stainless steel appliances clean. No thanks to going to funerals because it’s not like the bodies slabbed out on display have a way to tell you they’re glad you came. No thanks for having to be somewhere when you don’t want to be anywhere at all. No thanks to the inordinate amount of things beyond our control. No thanks to being told that it’s darkest before the dawn no matter how true it is. No thanks to dying young. No thanks to getting old. No thanks to the number of times I have left to talk to my parents or write a poem or hear the wind blow through the trees in my backyard. No thanks to spring and its dangerously high pollen counts and its random hailstorms and tornadoes that make us stuff ourselves in places that are supposed to protect us from awful things. No thanks to the tangle of sadness and anger I feel when I see a blue sky that lays out for a distance that might as well be forever.
Tyrel Kessinger is a stay-at-home dad of two wild animals. Occasionally, he finds time to write things, some of which can be found at Gargoyle, Triggerfish Critical Review, Toasted Cheese, and forthcoming from Washington Square Review, SLANT, Straylight Magazine and Typehouse. He also serves time as Poetry Editor for Great Lakes Review.
Artwork by: Monil Andharia