The Damn Belle Sans Souci
(after the style of Keats' "La Belle Dame Sans Merci")

Whatever ails you, Number Two,
On stage and sneering red-meat quips?
Some spittle smears the lipstick on
Your pit-bull lips.

Who can assail you, Hockey Mom,
Post-partum and still nursing Trig?
Your daughter's underage and yet
Her belly's big.

We hear you told her "just say 'no,'"
Although both you and she said "yes;"
And now you want to blame the Stork
For this, your mess?

The baby blanket that you wave
Like garlic and a silver cross
Cannot scare off the questions or
Your looming loss.

We know of apron strings and troops
Behind which charlatans will hide.
But pregnant unwed daughters? Why
Has John no pride?

From speeches written by a ghost
You read some insults off the page
For leper lunatics who find
You all the rage.

Appalled, the country sees again
The venal viper's gaping jaws
And dripping fangs deployed to bite --
For cheap applause.

But snakes, like other beasts of prey,
Come well supplied in genders, two;
So snakes that mate for votes will come
As nothing new.

From nowhere, you have now appeared:
An apparition of attack,
With no substantive claims except
The class you lack.

Thus John McCain has shown once more
That pressure from the right he'll heed;
And in selecting you, damn belle,
We see his need.

With all your carefree calumny
You've shown no virtue, merely vice;
Which leaves us only but to ask:
How low your price?

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2008