You Have Won a New Car

Lee Stockdale 

I was summoned under pretense I’d won a new car  

from Publisher’s Clearinghouse, 

required to show up in person to claim it, 

a ploy I knew was used by authorities  

to catch criminals. 

I had nothing to fear, I wasn’t a criminal,  

and there weren’t any warrants out for my arrest.  


I walked into the stadium expecting to see  

many similar winners 

and shiny new cars revolving  

on pedestals as when GM or Ford  

unveils new models with  

confetti and music and special lighting, 

so was stunned to see in the stands 

all my teachers: from pre-school, elementary, middle school, high school, 

community college, the university. Mr. Rauchle, 


who I thought had been dead for years,  

was healthy and smiled his tight-lipped smile, 

side swoops of his hair still combed down center forehead 

into that point he’d stab me with 

in tenth grade history. On behalf  

of my hundreds of professors  

and teachers, he presented me their  

collective Certificate of Disappointment.