poems as hand- and foot-holds on a glass mountain

Voting 2018


Standing in line outside a primary school library

waiting for an open booth, cars filling up the small

parking lot.  The times blur.  The voters in this after-work

line are different generations, their cars are a few years

apart, the desks seen through windows come up a bit

below our knees as surfaces for third graders.  When booths

open, they are brief as a cousin’s kiss, each an aluminum

suitcase unfolded on telescoping legs with fold-out sides 

just tall enough to prevent your neighbor from yelling out

who you just voted for.  The ballot you were issued by the

volunteer who resembles your Aunt Sophie slides neatly

into the plastic voting book whose thick pages align

with ballot spaces as punch-out choices yes no names

you’ve never heard of you can’t take back your punch

recall the Supremes arguing about ‘hanging chads’?

The count is a near future, though distant as determining

power.  Outside lumber mills on the coast huge piles of sawdust

thought mere waste now molded into presto-logs sold

packaged at a modest profit.  Who knows what might yet

be found useful?  Some know a little of the history

that brought us here most do not.  Over half of us stay home,

don’t bother.  A meaningless hassle.  Crooks and liars all of them.  

You wait for the time-blur to clear, your aluminum

stylus hovering over the choices, thinking of civil war as

voting’s alternative and of the fools who stayed home.

2 Responses to “Voting 2018”

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