One Man No Vote

homeless 2

A shock of blond and dirty
hair flows out from the open end
to a winter quilt
lying under Central Avenue
beside a stanchion at the bridge
that holds the sky at bay
and casts a benevolent shadow
across winter’s sleepers
while its traffic runs above them.
The man inside is kicking
at he doesn’t know what. His nerves
have taken over and energy
is shooting through his body
as it jerks. A patch
of his face edges free
bearing a tattoo
while his eyes remain closed.
It’s impossible to pass
without looking down
to wonder where he comes from,
what he eats, who
knows he’s here, how
he finds his way from each day
to the next, and whether he knows
when it begins. It’s noon.
This is the mild season
in an election year when campaigns
don’t reach those upon whom
the Arizona summer will fall
like a judgment. Nobody stops
to poll him on who
he would vote for, or what
he considers the greatest problem
facing the country today. Would he
support sending troops to Syria?
Is he in favor of a single payer
health system? Would a wall
along the border make him feel
more secure? Should
corporations pay higher taxes
and the minimum wage be raised?
How high a priority
should renewable energy be?
And there’s the cost
of college education; problems,
problems: as if everyone
knew the answers, as if
the answers would apply to everyone.


David Chorlton
Illustration: Claire Palmer

This entry was posted on in homepage and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.