Photo by Erik Mclean via Unsplash




Do it in pairs.
If there’s no one left in the world,
wag at yourself.

The rules are simple: find
something to wag about.
Reading too much. Cheating.
Bad eating habits. Lack of exercise.
Exorcisms. Out of body
experiences. Politics, money, religion.
Seriousness or frivolity.
Sleeping. Snoring. Breathing.
Doing it over and over, whatever it is
you’re doing. Dreaming
of elsewhere and staying put.

Those you wag at must know
they’ve committed a crime.
If they don’t, your wagging is pointless.
You might as well have stuffed
your foot in your mouth.
Followed by the rest of your body.

Wagging is an art.
Dogs do it well with their tails.
You don’t have a tail, one would hope,
so a finger must do.
Wagging with any other
body part will get you in trouble.

And last but not least, what’s at stake.
Who gets the prize, takes
home the spoils, writes the poem.
Who’s crowned and whose
head must fall. Hint:
too often it’s one and the same.
In other words, you.

Let’s not kid ourselves.
It’s always been you.


First published in Montana Mouthful, Volume 2, Issue 1, Spring 2019

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