The Politician

By John Lee Clark

The Honorable Larry Nesvig stood up and strode to the podium and Linda Gallea the resident interpreter followed him and stood at a respectful distance


He opened his address to the Class of 1992 of the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf by joking that he knew a little sign language


He gave us a thumbs up


We snorted


He said that when he was in the Air Force he learned another one


He said when we really mean it we do the special super duper double decker thumbs up


He made a thumbs up with his other hand and inserted it under the first one


We gasped and laughed


He was delighted with himself and decided to plumb it for all it was worth


He kept the special super duper double decker thumbs up there as he spoke now and then lifting it up and shaking it


You all have done a constipation job and I am sure you will have a constipation future and don’t forget to vote for me because you know I’m a constipation senator right


We were choking by the time the Honorable Larry Nesvig lifted what he didn’t know high above his head in triumph smiling like he couldn’t believe his luck


We couldn’t either



John Lee Clark‘s poetry has appeared in many publications, including The Hollins Critic, Pif, Poetry, and The Seneca Review. His chapbook of poems is Suddenly Slow (Handtype Press, 2008) and he edited the anthology Deaf American Poetry(Gallaudet University Press, 2009). He is married to the cartoonist Adrean Clark, and they live in the Twin Cities area in Minnesota with their three sons.


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