Susan McLean


The Hidden Agenda

for Ed Shacklee, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery

They’re docile beasts, agendas, doing what they’re told to do.
They stand in order, row on row, and never jump the queue,
expiring with a sigh as each in sequence is struck through.

But like the possum, wombat, wallaby, and kangaroo,
agendas are marsupial. From pouches where they grew,
their young emerge, unbidden, and hostilities ensue.

As tough and mean as wolverines and harder to subdue,
the offspring are relentless and committed to a coup.
They want to make some emendations: you and you and you.

Susan McLean is an English professor at Southwest Minnesota State University. Her poems have appeared often in Light, Lighten Up Online, Measure, Mezzo Cammin, and elsewhere.