Collective Unrest


the lesson

December 13, 2018

Originally Published in Here Comes Everyone, 2017

Katie’s party
at Build-A-Bear
allowed each guest
choice of sequins
ribbons, bows…

Sam gaily picked
a purple dress
as only
can do:
with rainbow stripes
in lamé glitter.

The other moms
began to twitter.

“Why not wait
to see the shirts
we have for boys
before you choose,”
the helper said.

Sam knew who they
were laughing at.
He watched
the other boys,
and picked a soccer
just like them:
plain blue and white.

“I hate this bear”
was all Sam said
when we got home.

It went in the
donation bag.


Charles Joseph Albert works as a metallurgist in San Jose, California, where he lives with his wife and three boys. His work (the poetry and fiction, not the metallurgy–that would be pretty cool!) has appeared recently in First Lit Review, FreedomFiction, Dual Coast, The Wifiles, Asissi, The Ibis Head Review, the MOON, Chicago Literati, the Literary Hatchet, the Lowestoft Chronicle, and The Literary Nest.

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