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Poetic License
by Thomas Pidgin

“Number 68.”

A small and elderly man stepped forward. “I'm number 68.”
A large woman frowned at him from her elevated desk. She was visibly unimpressed. “What can I help you with?”

“I would like to apply for a poetic license, please.”

The request was met by an unblinking stare. A grunt. “Do you have two forms of identification, one with a photo?”

“Here they are, ma'am.”

“Application form S-17, notarized and in triplicate?”


“Letters of recommendation from at least two recognized poets and/or authors?”

“Here you go.”

The woman looked over the documents. “It says here that you live uptown. Is this correct?”

“What do you currently do for a living?”

“I am retired.”

“What did you do before you retired?”

“I was a dentist. But that was a lifetime ago.”

“And now you want to be a poet? The only people I see who want to be poets are either teenagers or

“I feel that I have something to share.”

“What could a dentist from uptown have to share? A poem about the time your Mercedes got a flat tire?”
“Not quite.”

She looked closer at his application. “Actually, sir, you didn't fill out section 18c: 'Subject of proposed work of poetry.' I am required by Federal law section 162, article 73, paragraph 2 to inquire as to your qualifications to be a poet as well as your intended audience. I'm going to ask you a series of questions before we can precede, okay?”


“Good. First, are you currently or have you even been the victim of a BFF's betrayal?”


“Second, have you ever licked the candy striped rainbow or felt the strawberry sun kiss your cheek?


“Have you ever been in love?”


“Did she drown herself?”


“Hmm. Okay, one more. Do you believe in God?”

“If I was given a good reason, I would like to.”

“Okay. Let me total the results....Well Mr Dawson, I'm sorry to inform you that at this moment, we cannot
process your request for a poetic license.”

“I don't understand.”

“Mr Dawson, you don't fit our criteria. And that's final. Maybe check upstairs with Memoirs to see if they are interested what you have to offer. Now, please step aside, I have to help the next applicant.”

When she bellowed out the next number, a boy with greasy hair and a chin wallet sauntered over to the counter and was met with a warm smile.

Thomas:  I was born on a fishing vessel off the coast of Antarctica. I was raised in Chile in a boy's home, and eventually made my way to Italy because of my soccer skills. In my second season, I tore a ligament in my right knee, ending my career. I stayed in Europe, learned English, and eventually found my way to New York City. I work here making pizza for tourists and singing in a local coffee shop on Fridays. I have a pet turtle named Hope.