Writing. Life. Writing.

Love this...a poem about voting

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Came across this in a collection of poems I was reading because a reviewin a free newspaper stuffed under the door in my hotel room in Northern Ontario made me feel like I had to immediately get my hands on a copy of this collection. Which I did. And it's making me very happy.

For Election Day, from Joshua Mehigan:

The Polling Place

Same place as four years ago. The people arrive tired by daytime. Nighttime is ten after five.

The flag is lit, and the sculpture of who knows who. Here’s the fire door, wedged open with Voting and You.

From inside, a floor-wax smell. Shy people come after. I walk past them into bright light and social laughter.

This could be Bingo. It could be a twelve-step meeting. It could be a bake sale. I could be home eating.

The bathroom is closed to all but volunteers.

Democracy is slow. It can take many years.

Somebody’s take-out cancels the floor-wax smell. I could be eating and doing laundry as well.

Suppose the will of the people was as heavy as our bag of laundry out in the back of the Chevy.

Measured on that scale the will of the person counts a fraction of a fraction of an ounce,

and if that’s correct my will is not very strong. Still, if the right one wins I was right all along.

The bathroom is closed to all but the volunteers. Three tons of dirty laundry is made in four years.

Today my will is the weight of a grain of salt. But then if the wrong one wins it’s not my fault.

(This ran in The New York Times on Election Day 2008--that heady day when Barack Obama was elected. They featured other poems as well. Who knew?)

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