Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Political Ad

by Patricia N. McLaughlin

I’m a political ad.
Im invective and vile.
I work on the psyche.
I can twist the truth 
into a bald-faced lie.
I bend token laws with ease.
All you have to do is watch me,
let me sink into your mind,
            just take me
            with a chunk of rock salt.

I know how to doctor images,
how to spread fake news.
I can maximize the damage,
obscure the man’s record,
show the woman’s flaws
            that wreck her race.

What are you waiting for—
have faith in All-American Capitalism.

You’re still an undecided voter.
It’s not too late to manipulate your mind.
Who said
            the ends won’t justify the means?

Let me foul your judgment.
I’ll sully it with dirt.
You’ll thank me for mixing up
            more mud for you to sling.

Buy what I sell.
You’re one of many suckers.

There is no market for truth anymore.

* * * * *

Patricia N. McLaughlin is a writer of multiple genres, including prize-winning children’s literature and flash fiction. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Oregon and has taught at several esteemed colleges and universities, earning awards for distinguished service and teaching excellence. Her first collection of poetry, The Hierophant, was published in 2020. She makes her home in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her spouse, Trish, and their miniature dachshund, Lexi.