Mary Mills is a teacher of world languages. She has translated poetry from German to English, and her work, Voices of Theresienstadt, has appeared in Pacific Coast Philology. She also dabbles in poetry forms. Her version of an extended haiku is on as “Winter Solstice at Newgrange.” Her sestina, “SOMA” has appeared in The Potomac: A Journal of Poetry and Politics.


Trigger Warning

Words drop, disconnect and die.
Yet the babbling blather continues.
He looks at the teleprompter and claps,
hands moving without control.
He dances to the Russian program
that created him; he’s Misandroid.

Deep down in the darkness, Misandroid
hears huge, icy-black walls crack and die.
Will COVID-19 crash his program?
Screams morph into laughter that continues
digging downward. Dead feet control
COVID-19 testing, and he claps.

In T Tower’s nethermost reaches, he claps
while his bloodied body naps. Misandroid
drops it into a gold-plated crypt banks control.
A wave of funny Franklins floats down. Banks die
laughing; fake cash floods the Dow and continues
its wild rush to crush the stimulus program.

Misandroid never had a pandemic program.
His bloated, humanoid body only responds to claps.
Misandroid tweets, and the red cap sale continues
to make America empty again. Misandroid
is not human; he’s a fake; can he die?
America falls under COVID-19’s control.

At the White House, he scoffs at the control
his advisors urge and follows his own program
against the virus. Profit on an untested cure. He’d die
if that got out! But that’d be fake news and he claps,
patting himself on the back. He’s smart; he’s Misandroid,
with an IQ that’s huge. He follows his gut and continues

to spew crisis upon crisis. A pandemic surge continues
while everyone on his ship of fools screams “Damage control!”
His great people rush to jump ship and escape. Misandroid
says the virus is a hoax. States have theirs not ours is his program.
Surrounded by constant cries for medical supplies, he claps.
His speech slurs. But he’s the healthiest president ever. He won’t die.

His tweets start to fade as he continues his harmful program.
Fever makes him lose control. A tweet flutters. Nothing claps.
COVID-19 has struck, and Misandroid might die.

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