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Tuesday, September 26, 2017


by Ed Werstein

Randall Enos / Cagle Cartoons

The president tweeted
his little whistle and threw the flag
in front of the protesting players.

For once the players weren’t
trying to call attention to themselves.
For once they weren’t stomping
or goose-stepping around the field
beating their chests with their
“I’m number one” finger
pointing toward the heavens,
or jumping into the laps of joyous fans.
They were kneeling.
Simply kneeling, to call attention
to an injustice suffered by others,
and to call attention to the fact
that they saw this as an American problem.
The problem for the president
was that they weren’t kneeling to him.
So he tweeted his whistle
as referee-in-chief, and threw the flag.
The call was unpatriotic conduct.
The president wanted the NFL renamed
The National Flag League. He wanted
the ball replaced, and a flag marched
up and down the field
in an even more war-like game
to match the militaristic fever
he wanted to stir up in the country.
Most of all, he wanted the players penalized.
He was used to people kneeling,
but right in front of him
and for a different reason.

Ed Werstein, Milwaukee, a regional VP of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, was 60 before his muse awoke and dragged herself out of bed. He advocates for peace and against corporate power. His poetry has appeared in Verse Wisconsin, Blue Collar Review, Gyroscope Review, and several others. His chapbook Who Are We Then? was published by Partisan Press.