By Brandy Clark

I asked for a sign

and I got one in the molded shape
of a man, frayed bottoms
of his khaki shorts
stopping right above
his skinned and scabby knees.
Rough working hands
with rough working fingers
held a wooden stick—
fresh-cut, raw, bleeding sap.

Poster board mounted on stick,
hand drawn on it, finger drawn crooked,
its arc pointing at me,
at everyone who walked by
this campus transplant
and copy of all campus preachers
who came before him

Shaky Sharpie letters
written below the hand

for ________ (fill in the blank
pick a word, any word)

whores, you’re all whores and sinners,
repent, repent, repent, and go on,
insert other religious clichés here
it’s all the same you’re all the same

A crowd gathered around him
looking laughing sneering jeering

People laugh. It’s a comedy sketch,
titled Religious Man Spouts Propaganda
To People Booing Him.

After the security guard
broke it up, I saw the sign
abandoned on the ground,
footprints impressed on its surface,
pure white turned to dirty gray.
Ashes to ashes
and sign returned to the dust
from which it sprung.


Brandy Clark graduated from Missouri State University with a Masters in English – Creative Writing in the Spring of 2017. Her poetry is sarcastic and often involves her own literal interpretations of the figurative nature of religion, along with the randomness of everyday life. She is currently working on her Masters in writing – Rhetoric and Composition and her thesis for how to integrate creative writing and poetry in the composition classroom.