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Sunday, March 19, 2017


by Tricia Knoll

Image Source: Hasbro

Whoever coined that penny-dreadful acronym BOA played too much
Monopoly. Report to Jail. No go by go. No payment for the work
you did, for what the artists painted beneath the bridges, for the songs
that mothers wet with milk dripped into their baby’s mouth or
that fathers moaned as regrets of what they hadn’t done to help,
you know, the sounds you could hear once in a while on public radio.

The beginners-again movement men whacked all the monuments
to pieces, loved it that Ramses’ head showed up in a sewer works hole.
When they carved out human services, they cared not a whit
(and I have it from a very reliable source that whit is much smaller
than bit), that zombies, the victims of flesh-eating cut-backs,
careened around downtowns with nowhere to go, washing in McDonald’s
restrooms, or giving up and pitching a tent in the graveyard
next to the wild sweet peas and the four-leaf clovers.

You won’t have this. You won’t have that. That refrain echos
in the school yard recess warning bells and the sirens that get people
to the hospital emergency rooms where they might be treated
depending on their documents. If they are legal people.

You will have bombs and walls. Lots of bombs and because we have big
sticks, we can use them wherever we want. We don’t have to lend them
to friends because the nations we once called friends aren’t very nice.
We can keep them all for ourselves. The BOA men don’t believe
it will go nuclear. BOA work, choking and squeezing, is not noticeable
to the average person who doesn’t care about tax returns or Putin.
The hungry might feel tightness in the gut. The sick or the less abled
may make unhealthy comparisons to the old play board
where they did collect $200 every once in a while.

What you will notice is how BOA men get new black suits,
gleamy gold badges, and red hats with bills

to keep the sun from blinding them.

Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet who has been writing poetry of protest for some months. Her collected work includes Ocean's Laughter (Aldrich Press) and Urban Wild (Finishing Line Press).