Pugnacious twerps

On the table in front of me
A spray bottle of water
Which is the only argument
That persuades the little dog
Not to howl hysterically
When visitors
Come to the door.
Most times now
We don’t need to squirt,
We just pick up the bottle
And say “Enough!”
And he stops.
Good boy.
Wouldn’t it be lovely
If we could do the same
With the people who run the world,
Just squirt them
A couple of times
And say “Enough!”
“Enough homicidal greed!
Enough pretending you deserve
Vastly more than everyone else!
Enough vainglorious accumulation!
Enough prideful
Strutting and preening!
Enough threatening and bellicosity
And domination fantasies!
Enough violent indecency
Toward all life!”
Then, when they stopped
Being pugnacious twerps
We’d get out a little treat,
Send them
To lie down in their beds
With an old tennis ball
And a little squeaky toy,
And tell them, “Stay!”

Buff Whitman-Bradley’s newest book is And What Will We Sing? a collection of protest and social justice poems spanning the last 25 years. He podcasts at thirdactpoems.podbean.com and lives with his wife, Cynthia, in northern California. Read other articles by Buff.