The Willie Question

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Contributor: Thomas M. McDade

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Talk orbited
around admission
into the tragic hero club.
Membership a privilege
reserved for kings
like the Bard’s
quintessential Lear?
Trolling the lower depths
old reliable Willie Loman
stood before the committee
of students enrolled
in the Philosophy
of Literature.
I favored an impromptu
ersatz fanfare and standing
ovation for the salesman,
presenting the card
pin or scroll myself
and spilling the secret
handshakes and passwords.
Others may have agreed
but one student
monopolized the floor
vehemently arguing
against inclusion stating
Willie deserved to be
stepped on like a worm.
Although I strongly disagreed
I thought for argument’s sake
a cockroach, ant or any
common home invader
would have better served
but class was over
and the salesman’s fate
left to quiz, exam or
term paper whim
footnote or angler
keen to the tragedy
of flagrantly wasted bait.

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Thomas M. McDade lives in Fredericksburg, VA
He is a graduate of Fairfield University
He is a U.S. Navy Veteran


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