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Wednesday, October 24, 2012


by Jean L. Kreiling

Our town’s been stricken by an infestation
more visible than gypsy moths or bees.
These pests won’t sting or cause deforestation;
in fact, they look a little bit like trees,

but short, malformed, and ugly. They sprout words
instead of leaves—red, white, and blue, all caps;
no green-clad limbs support alighting birds
or shelter chipmunks for their morning naps.

Instead, the stunted, manufactured trunks
support annoying pleas for our support
of earnest men and women—and some skunks
and swindlers—who pursue an autumn sport.

Theirs is, in fact, a most important game;
the outcome could affect our lives and work.
But while the roadside vermin swarm, each name
propped on a pole looks like that of a jerk.

This plague will end; we must try to remember
that time always exterminates these lines
of lurid boldface blight.  By late November,
we’ll cheer the landslide loss of campaign signs.

Image source: Duane

Jean L. Kreiling's work appears widely in print and online journals and in anthologies.  She was the winner of the 2011 Able Muse Write Prize for Poetry, and she has been a finalist for the Dogwood Poetry Prize, the Frost Farm Prize, and the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award.