George Witte

The Third Pig

Anyone can smell it coming,
rank meaty breath and ticking claws.
Hindsight's so enhanced prescience
you apprehend the end before
due credit's claimed or blame assigned
to splinter groups as yet unnamed.
Warned, you make escape provisions,
hoard water and electric tape,
surf uninterrupted broadcasts,
test batteries and buy a gun.
Car alarm crescendos summon
first responders, rotors hammer
telegraphic reassurance—
got it got it got it got it—
but something's up, the anchorman
makes semaphores of frowns and grins
that contradict his scripted news,
agenda none but you discerns.
Each day's a cautionary tale
you listen to, a child again,
mesmerized by Dad exclaiming
Wolf! to villagers once-bitten
into doubt, Chicken Little's squawks
against the imminent collapse,
the mine canary whistling one
inquiring note into the dark,
then pausing to inhale, and wait.


From Deniability (2009)

Topic(s) of this poem: anxiety, paranoid, terrorism

Poem Submitted: Friday, December 6, 2019

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