Sitting my American ass on the couch
watching America on TV and wanting
seven hundred million ears
to listen to my weak voice
creak like floorboards under seesawing feet
waiting in line to get into hell.
We should get rid of cable.
You’ve been saying that
but George H.W. Bush died the other day
and he was spindly on CNN
the winter mom finally had enough again
and moved us from the farm to town
and we had cable just like everyone else
and didn’t need to climb the house
to swivel the antenna toward Des Moines
to watch the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower
plow furrows into the Gulf
and I felt we were out of trouble then
because even a twerp who looked more orthodontist
than president could pound Baghdad in night vision.
But George H.W., you made the Middle East look hand-made
the winter that anything phony angered me,
the winter I’d leave a gym window propped open
at Our Lady of Good Counsel to sneak in late
to dribble only with my left hand, my weak hand,
while Father Murray, in the parsonage twenty feet away,
comfortable out of his clerical blacks,
had to hear me dribbling machine gun drills,
graceless at 3/4 speed,
every time that war cut to commercial.