This Flag Is Not Waving – Jack Mackey

move the weights   add ten more pounds   pull down
the bar on the lat machine   notice
the ginger swinging
free weights like tinker toys
Did I leave the eggs boiling over the flame
again                 they end up
with burn marks and their shells smell
like chalk    the crane through the window lowered
a stack of I-beams to the ground
sister wrote the assignment on the board
this town has outgrown its original
intent                the gunman had no trouble
my driver’s license expires the same month
as my car and they want me
to take a test so I can prove I still have
it          I think I might move
across the room    to the barbells and
how the bench still has his sweat on it
his shorts are so thick                we need more
propane for tonight’s steaks
It’s not the same country I grew up in, California
fires won’t be extinguished no
matter how long the hoses
how good the chemicals         
pill this morning          people don’t wipe
up their sweat              expect others to           so I hold
the door open as I exit              for the person
behind me I can’t see but just
sense is there               sensitive like my mother
said I was
I didn’t know what she meant
but now I get it.

Jack MackeyJack Mackey lives in Southern Delaware. He has a master’s degree in English from the University of Maryland. His poetry has been anthologized by Darkhouse Books and the Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild. Poems have appeared in Mojave River Review, Rat’s Ass Review, Mobius, Writer’s Resist, Third Wednesday, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Broadkill Review, and others.