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Monday, March 09, 2020


by Mark Williams

Cartoon by First Dog on the Moon

“Hello. I am Austin Baggerly and I am giving my speech
in Mrs. Colley's fourth grade class at West Park Elementary,
which you already know since you are my friends
and you are here too. Mrs. Colley said to give a speech
on something that our country needs more of.
I asked my mom what our country needs more of
and she said clearity. I asked her what is clearity
and she said the state of being clear. I asked her
which state is that and she said the blue ones. Mom says
a person can never ever be too clear. Never.
She says for example take our President who says
the first thing that comes out of his mouth only then
it is too late since it is already confusing everyone.
Like he said when it gets warm the virus will give up
and quit killing old people. I hope so cause Grandma Baggerly
is old and I do not want her to die. But how do we know
the virus does not like hot weather too? It could.
Or when he said he wants to leave the people
on the boat since that would be good for the numbers.
What does that mean? What numbers? Whose numbers?
I heard my mom on the phone telling Aunt Alice
that she is surprised to learn Mike Pence has balls.
She does not mean basketballs or baseballs eccetera.
Even golf balls. She means for once he stood up like a man
to the President and said we do not have enough tests
to see if we have the virus after the President said
we have all the beautiful tests we need. Mom says
just you wait the President will fire Mike Pence
if he keeps being clear since that is the one thing
the President is afraid of even more than the virus.
So always be clear. Also wash your hands. And
Mom says to tell your parents and grandparents
to wash their hands of the President this November.
So that virus doesn't spread too. Thank you.”

Mark Williams lives in the red but otherwise good state of Indiana. His poems and stories have appeared in The Southern Review, Rattle, New Ohio Review, Drunk Monkeys, The American Journal of Poetry, and the anthologies American Fiction and The Boom Project. His poems in response to the current administration have appeared in TheNewVerse.News, Poets Reading the News, Tuck Magazine, and WritersResist.