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Sunday, August 18, 2013

THE STATE OF WISCONSIN

by Margaret Rozga





Capitol Police Captain Lonergan speaks into his shoulder.

 During a game when he speaks,
Packers’ Head Coach Mike McCarthy
props up his nose with a stiff sheet of paper.

Two stiff-eyed officers, watch the center, slow-walk
the circumference counter-clockwise.

Guards on the circumference of the perhaps
mine in the Penokee Hills scarf their faces.

Judge Conley finds sections of the permit requirement
unconstitutional in ways that raise “the question of whether
the rest of the Access Policy can be salvaged.”
Perhaps he thinks this clear.

They nod and cut a clear line toward the center.

The center of attention, Senate President
Mike Ellis screws up his face, busts a gavel.

We saw you, your face, your mouth moving.
We have clear evidence. You were singing.


No one saw the Governor pick up the phone.
Just imagine his face as he answers the prank call.

Justices of the Supreme Court hear arguments
and take them into their own hands.

Teachers take pay cuts.

He’s busted. He’s held in
a basement room, plastic cuffs cutting into
his wrists.

In the still green of the Penokee Hills,
the Ojibwe set up a harvest camp.

Packer backers, happy to have tickets,
paint their faces and chests green and gold.

Another $200 ticket.  What’s up, Captain
Lonergan? What do you call down there?
And who calls it in to you?


Margaret Rozga
has published two books: Two Hundred Nights and One Day and Though I Haven’t Been to Baghdad. Her poems have appeared recently in The Kerf, Nimrod and as a Split This Rock Poem of the Week.  Her essay “Community Inclusive: A Poetics to Move Us Forward,” published in Verse Wisconsin, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives in Milwaukee and blogs about poetry and social justice.