Levels of Innuendo
 
The cosmos may contain a constellation
That holds a jealous planet, one that schemes
To hurt some stars with black insinuation
And smudge with covert smears their lovely beams.
 
We know that nations plot against a foe
With hints of sin, with off-the-record quotes,
With subtle lies, so no one else will know
They have their knives at other nations’ throats.
 
And locally sly demagogues connive
With other crooks and hacks to demonize
Competing candidates, who then contrive
To see whom they can also compromise.
 
But none can smear like Aunty, mystified
By rings and things in Grandma’s chiffonier
That only minutes after Grandma died
Had seemed, she idly notes, to disappear—
 
As well, she says, as all that Rosenthal
That Grandma said was hers when she was dead.
“Oh, well,” she sadly smiles, “I’m glad that all
Them dishes went to you-know-who instead.”

(2000)

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