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Wednesday, September 03, 2008


by Jan Pettit

They are vacuuming the sidewalk
outside the hotel next door.
It’s the Republican National Convention and
the sidewalks must be clean, very clean.
To be honest, it’s a rubber-backed rug
they’re vacuuming. Red of course, the red carpet metaphor
in suburban vernacular, rolled out
for the Republicans. I can’t decide which is more absurd,
the rug on top of the sidewalk, or the vacuuming.
On either side, topiary elephants—adorned
with Christmas lights—look on, while the vacuum glides
around their fake moss feet. They wonder what’s gone wrong
here in America. They want to go back,
not to their native Africa, since they are neither
real nor African, but back to their pre-synthetic lives,
the iron ore and petroleum and stuff in the ground.
Before they were pointless, too.

Jan Pettit lives and writes and fumes in Minneapolis, MN. Her poetry has appeared in journals including Great River Review, South Dakota Review, Rosebud Magazine, Tusculum Review and in Nebraska Presence, an anthology of poets from Nebraska.