Looking out before the Next Election


I’ve come within a hair’s breath of history,
and what has it taught me?
My dog can’t say, and neither can I.
A fistful of trees, tense outside my window,
and beyond, the elaborate feelings of space.
Inanimate objects glide inside the house.
That wasn’t the shallow bowl of my imagination.
No, everything is breaking.

I remember last time, one afternoon
Obama was on the stump without a tie.
McCain was riding in his bus and I
was preparing to be cloistered with nuns
who held themselves together
with straight pins and prayers. My hopes
were like something a scriptwriter would dream up.
I was destined to disappointment and
the corridors led to dead ends. Light falls

back from the window. A breeze lifts
the curtains. Born during the Christian calendar,
I’ve lived in a very secular age. The hippies
turned into Reganites, then the Clintons paired up
with a triangle. Why be a barefoot
troublemaker anymore? I won’t make it
through the elaborate security check.

It is so strange. Should I vote again?
Is there truth in the Bible, Koran,
Bhagavad-Gita? What choice do I have
but to stay here and marvel at my backyard,
drugged by the wild flowers, the sanctity of it all?


Sandra Sidman Larson
pic: Nick Victor

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