Poem: Killing Hope at the Harper Valley P.T.A.

By: Chuck Orloski


Boiling days of July 2016, school’s out,
American kids ushered to Grandpa’s
inflatable pool and Smiley’s Day Care Center
at $300.00 per week.

Sedated, weary, Mrs. Johnson sat in back row
of Harper Valley Junior High auditorium.
She wore an Ecclesiastical approved mini-skirt
and her eyes fled upward at an over head fan.
Where can she hide a Snapple glass bottle
that’s filled with vodka and water?
Whirlwind spin of an electric fan,
whoosh, whoosh, whoosh,
and Mrs. Johnson’s a grandmother again.

School Board President, Arne Duncan, at podium
(long ago he had his way with Mrs. Johnson):
“Hear ye, hear ye…,
soon either Hillry’s goin’ to civilize
all of ‘ya high livin’ entitlement nags
or Trump’s gonna make it great ’til ‘ya hurt,”

Mrs. Johnson listened, but her knowing was
altered at birth during public caesarean education.
She mourned her grand daughter’s “sacrifice,”
the weekly housecleaning for Senator Steele.
Lots of sex but no diamond for her Mary.
Fan blades hummed, “Weep for Charlie Hebdo,”
and only a Harper Valley Life Insurance salesman
looked Mrs. Johnson’s curvy way any more.

President Duncan beat breast, proclaimed,
“100 points more on your kid’s S.A.T.s,
plus sale of 100 Hershey Chocolate bars,
and ‘ya all won’t have to work anymore
O.T. at the Low Country Diner!”

Mrs. Johnson feared ISIS, ISIL, ISOSCELES,
(whatever?) whose known to whack heads off
“plop-plop,” down to Abe’s Delicatessen floor!
One day she swore to answer why there’s
no more flinch when teen addicts die.

“Hear ye, hear ye,
Supremacist businessmen and lawyers
will teach everybody what ‘ya got to know about!”

In fury,
Mrs. Johnson cradled a concealed Colt 45.
No suicide way out of the redacted 28 pages,
the POTUS promised health to money grubbers,
a 21 gun salute for The Pulse dead.
Mrs. Johnson wondered why Ben pounded
so long at The Graduate church glass doors
and why is Vladimir Putin so hesitant
with delivery of S-300 missiles to Iran?

“Hear ye, hear ye –
Hey kiddo, check out my fanny tattoo,
and leave us teachers alone!” *

Lessons about sugar boats ‘a sail north
and Lincoln’s very dubious phrase,
“government by the people.”
No one ever told Mrs. Johnson how
the Victors freed the slaves to obscurity
and detained Plains Indians on reservations.

Suddenly, auditorium door kicked open,
a lone nut interrupted Harper Valley P.T.A.,
he scanned the crowd with a loaded copy of
William Blum’s book, Killing Hope.
Arne Duncan grasped modern times,
shouted, “Ya all better hit the floor right quick!”

“My name is Ray Lee Sirhan-Assange
and I’m here to do the will of… uh Brexit!
No, no… hang on? Uh, it’s al Quds will!
No, no, I’m Yemenese, born in Hawaii.
O Christ, C.I.A. handlers got me so confused!”

Prone upon floor,
Mrs. Johnson’s robust history bookmarked.
Oh how she will always love and submit
to Big Brother’s advances should he choose
“to get me out of this (expletive) jam.”
Finger on Colt 45 trigger, aimed at Killing Hope!
Swig of vodka and water, the 1968 ceiling fan
and so many strange MSM reports circulated
about what happened next.

* Line paraphrased from Pink Floyd, “The Wall.”


Categories: Poetry

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