February 17, 2020


The Know-it-alls


Two voices in the crowded room
rise above beer commercials
and simultaneous conversations.

Their noise winds around
the garlic-scented hors d'oeuvres
on a table behind couches and chairs
where most of the guests linger,
eat, and watch football on TV.

The heat of the red-faced debaters grows.
They offer venomous certainty
about everything from weather to finance.

As the game ends and the host
switches the remote to an old Western,
one of the debaters asks,
Who won the game?

Do you know who was playing?
a woman asks.

A guest, mouth full of chips
attempts a reply.

How can you answer, the debater
responds, with your mouth
full of nonsense?

The guest pauses, swallowing, then
nods toward the red-faced arguers.

Article © Terry Petersen. All rights reserved.
Published on 2017-04-24
Image(s) © Terry Petersen. All rights reserved.

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