Allison Thorpe

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Artwork by Gene McCormick

Abigail Adams' Underground T-Shirt Emporium

When the government got a bit waffle-minded
about women, she brought back Remember The Ladies.
She couldn't keep the t-shirts on the shelves.

The phrase just rallied the masses,
and she began getting orders from other groups:
Remember the Nurses,
the Firefighters,
the Bus Drivers,
the Tutors,
the Librarians,
the Dreamers.

Soon the odder more zealous groups emerged for shirts:
Remember the Elvis Impersonators,
the Area 51 Watchers,
the Raspy Throated Banjo Players,
the Edgar Allan Poe Bobblehead Doll Collectors,
the Sudoku Aficionados.
the Marchers, Persisters, Resistors.

Then the complex orders arrived:
Remember the Can't Break 100 Bowlers at Frank's Bar,
the Fun Loving Ghosts Who Have Fantastic Parties in Beannie Forest,
the Bald and Toothless Old Men Who Keep the Park Benches Shined,
the Hairnet Lunch Ladies Who Fry Chicken in the Washington Elementary Cafeteria,
the Stunningly-Creative Word-Wealthy Writers Hanging Around Art’s Coffee Shoppe.

She became so busy, she had to hire help,
young college boys who poked fun,
threw shade, dissed many of the shirts,
wondered why they didn't have any of their own.

She knew their frustration,
had lived it, and so let them pick
their slogan (Beer Drinkers Extraordinaire).
Always remember, she told them,
in business,
and in life,
no one wants to be forgotten.


Allison Thorpe's latest chapbook is The Shepherds of Tenth Avenue.