When They Say It Was Rigged

My poems have been creeping later and later, midnight on Wednesday, then Thursday. I have finally reined them back to Wednesday, my goal is five pm for next week, thanks for your patience!

When They Say It Was Rigged

When I hear the footballs
were deflated at the Superbowl,
the race fixed, the fight bought,
I remember sixth grade track meets,
wave after wave of kids pouring it on,
claps on the back among winners and losers.

When someone mentions the stock crash,
the mortgage fiasco,
China or Australia hoarding silver,
I recall oxygen,
and bumble bees,
their legs fat with pollen,
a baby perched
in the grocery cart next to me,
each little hand
both a reception and an offering.

When I encounter the words conspiracy
or subterfuge, propaganda and collusion,
I look out the window
and notice ferns fringing
the base of a cedar,
think of high school teachers,
the color yellow.

When I read about
the “gray men,” the “Illuminati,”
puppet governments and profiteers,
I think of an old woman
recently honored on the television,
who sat in her living room
and waved at middle schoolers
who passed by her window.

There might always be suspicions
about assassinations and
planes flown into twin towers,
arms deals, brokered to both sides,
your favorite song now an ad jingle.
May we forever hope the yoke of suffering
pulls a worthy haul,
we want fair and
the corners squared.

Who knows what obstacles
she overcame to sit in her chair
every day, promptly at nine and three,
what injustices
in eighty years she endured.
Not always an easy thing,
to smile.