Lynne Potts

Helmets, Goggles, America

America wears a helmet when it’s learning to ride a tricycle

because so many things can happen, Bam, just like that;

it also wears dog parks and when Sunday comes the TV

wears ball parks.

If you’ve ever been asleep when a dog barks, you know

it’s been hanging out with skateboarders at the mall while

a percent of the population is down the street getting

their fingernails purple with a few stars.

It also wears goggles so its eyes don’t get wet

underwater, insists hair do’s stay on the same page,

and holds PowerPoint meetings with snacks that have

little orange cellophane halos on sticks.

It’s a known, but little advertised, fact that America

pisses behind gas stations because the door is locked,

and if you think it’s a kind of sheetrock don’t, because

that’s milk of magnesia without the blue.

For me, America is most endearing when it’s a child

wearing a pair of underpants on its head and you

can’t see its demise anywhere, even when there is

a prayer meeting about it and everybody cries.

First published in Storm Cellar