Mr. Rogers Is Flipping You Off

Marci Rae Johnson


Mr. Rogers puts his pants on
one leg at a time like everyone else.
On TV he's already wearing pants.

He dons his shoes and sweater
as if he is about to leave for work
but his work is to stay with you and play

with puppets and the train set your
father gave you last year and hasn't
had time to set up. Mr. Rogers is using

his degree in music composition to teach
you how to count. He counts the middle finger
of his right hand without irony like your father

in church, pointing to the Bible verse he wants
you to memorize. You, compliant, though your
understanding hazy, the caption on your drawing

"do not comet adultery." The man and woman
in the movie today about the end of the world
have managed not to love each other

until now, icy bodies hurtling to earth
and they are running out of time. Never
enough time to love and be loved.


*Title of poem comes from this article: click here for article and photo.