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Thursday, December 21, 2017


by Darrell Petska

Transported like a side of beef,
the 45th arrived on a cart,
a small hand jutting from the wraps.

"Dog hater!" growled LBJ.
"Wall builder!" shouted Reagan.
Obama stirred. "Uh . . ."

Onto the stage, positioned off-center,
went the 45th, animatronically correct,
a dead ringer for Jon Voight.

"Jesus Christ!" prayed Jimmy Carter.
"He'll mock my braces," bemoaned FDR.
"Travesty," said Washington. "I cannot lie."

Switched on, the 45th did its test run:
hands moved, head nodded, voice sounded
rather like Putin's—

"I smell a crook," muttered Nixon.
"The only natural area he knows is beneath the belt,"
Teddy complained, and Obama gestured, "Uh . . ."

The techs fixed the Putin glitch,
except for faint tweeting in the background,
and the America First dummy stood ready to wow.

"Uh . . ." spoke Obama, "anyone whose meal preference
is two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish, and a malt
will never complete a full term!"—

which perked up Bill Clinton: "Yum!"
Abe sighed. "Shall we never stop this bleeding?"
"Lightweights! I'm huge!" crowed their silicone successor.

Darrell Petska's writing has appeared in Whirlwind, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Chiron Review, Rat's Ass Review, Verse-Virtual, previously in TheNewVerse.News and elsewhere. Darrell worked for many years as communications editor for the University of Wisconsin-Madison.