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Thursday, April 12, 2007 12:44 am

People's Poetry

Jacqueline Jackson presents'

Untitled Document jabberwockpoem #1   
 
karl rove karl rove
tell me folks what rhymes with rove
love don’t rhyme dove don’t rhyme
shove don’t rhyme but it might do
loathe is close but it’s askew
libby’s easy rhymes with fibby
scooter well there’s always looter
stole the name of agent plame
(bore the shame bore the blame)
but karl rove karl rove
perchance he be a tulgy tove    
gyring gimbling in the wabe
perchance a mimsy borogove
whuffling round the astrolabe
karl rove karl rove slithy jove

© Jacqueline Jackson 2007

Buying Xavier an outfit for his second birthday, I paused at a rack of toddler clothes in camouflage fatigue fabrics. Zay is 40 pounds of pure, solid boy. When his mother forbids him toy guns, he fashions them from empty toilet-paper rolls.
We’d avoided the tanks and army trucks in the toy aisle, steering him toward more peaceful vehicles. “Look,” I said to him, “this truck could take food to the homeless people.” By way of response, he bent his soda straw into a gun and shot me.
I don’t understand his attraction to war, maybe because there’s no boy in me. The toddler fatigues are adorable, but I put them back on the shelf. I’m not willing to see Xavier as a soldier.
But every soldier was someone’s 2-year-old once.  This poem by Marjorie Saiser says it well. — Carol Manley, guest editor
Local Boy Taken  
     for local boys everywhere
The newspaper says an honor guard, a closed casket. People lining the street in a town.
The paper says his father said he was a loving caring jokester of a boy. Somebody said one of his favorite tricks
was to run across the room and then fall down after hitting an imaginary clothesline. Somebody said he liked little kids.
Somebody held a sign that said Thank You. Each of his parents, the paper says, was given a folded flag.
He did his trick in Wal-Mart one day in the area where his twin brother was working.
He ran across the room and then, after hitting an imaginary clothesline fell down.
The paper said his sergeant said he actually volunteered for duties such as cleaning the floor with a toothbrush.
Somebody said that was just how he was. An estimated crowd of 500.
Packed into the sanctuary, the balcony, the basement. That’s how he was.
Somebody said he was a natural with a wrench. He dunked a basketball so hard he shattered the backboard.
Those assembled at Calvary Cemetery flinched through a round of rifle volleys.
He ran across the room.
He ran across the room and fell down.

Marjorie Saiser is a Nebraska poet who read this poem at a Hiroshima Day memorial service.

Send submissions to Jacqueline Jackson Presents People’s Poetry to poetry@illinoistimes.com or to Illinois Times, P.O. Box 5256, Springfield, IL 62705.