Reporting to Mars from this Country of Archangels, Armadillos, and Apple Pie
A pickup truck travels on four rubber wheels and has an uncovered bed in the back, instead of a bench seat that is sheltered from rain and snow. Snow falls from the sky when the temperature dips below freezing. The truck’s bed hauls beer kegs and pit bulls and has two flags, once flown by an army that lost a war a hundred-and-fifty years ago, attached to the tailgate. The driver taxis his wife to and from her cashier job at Walmart. He has burnished a reputation as an expert in airborne viruses, military science, and voodoo economics. People worship plastic bags filled with pecan sandies and bottles of ginkgo biloba at the Church of Walmart. Experts speak louder than their posse of flunkies who wear red hats with the same four letters branded across their foreheads. Voodoo economics are the alibis and snow jobs that justify having the apple pies eaten by the same 500 men who have always eaten all the apple pies. The sort of men who never carry flags into wars. Posses chase horse thieves with the intention of hanging them. Pulling the wool over someone’s eyes is an example of a snow job. The people who have the expertise for covering people’s eyes with snow write histories. A person waves the special blanket or sheet they call a flag in the air so that everyone else will remove their hats while history passes them by.
Michael Brockley is a retired school psychologist who lives in Muncie, Indiana. His most recent poems have appeared in the on-line Tom Waits anthology Whiskey Mule Diner, Down in the Dirt, and Wordpeace. Poems are forthcoming in Vagabond Dissent, Jasper's Folly Poetry Journal, and Last Stanza Poetry Journal.