“Both nuns and mothers worship images”
–William Butler Yeats

Gidgets fidget in small
auditoriums, filling their frayed
seats to capacity. Something
kicks on every lap

or inside it as they struggle
to take shorthand on the necessity
of unstructured developmental activity
“commonly referred to be the vulgar

as play.” They shush right
and left– they’ve pawned their surfboards
to get Beyond Barbie.
They want to know

how to spell dysfunctional
for future reference.
For lunch, there’s a Similac
Support Group in one room,

Milkoholics Anonymous
in the other, celery stalks
and soybean donuts,
gastronomically correct.

At home they gently intone
Let Megan Be Megan, flashing ultrasound
portraits for their husbands, Republican
publicans suddenly eager to bring those recycling bins

to the curb. Already the literary
agents are patrolling the sidewalks,
convincing as perverts,
cutting deals with any images

they can persuade to bare
their privates under hypnosis
until the disposable diapers have closed
all the landfills for good.

Gilbert Allen has lived in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, and taught at Furman University, since 1977. His three collections of verse are, In Everything (Lotus, 1982), Second Chances (Orchises, 1991), and Commandments at Eleven (Orchises, 1994). His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Able Muse, The Cortland Review, Free Lunch, The Georgia Review, Image, Quarterly West, and The Southern Review.

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