It is Election Day. The sun streams down
through emptied branches. Chilled air hovers
like a collective inhale. The exhale
waits in the wings like a novice actor
battling stage fright. Last night, wind pretended
to be a train. We woke up thinking we
had traveled far away and were waiting
for good news to arrive at the station
with morning’s mail. But we were still here
facing down demons, stomachs tied to the tracks.
Last time we were set up at a polling
place in Florida. We wore our election
protection badges and hats, as we hoped
for business. We were nervous. Little
did we know. Now, fear oozes through our veins
with every news bulletin and text.
The pandemic has kept us at home. Our
absentee ballots were mailed. Making calls
calls to others is as close as we’ve gotten
to a voting booth. We’ve been begging.
I turn to the rhythm of raking leaves.
Piles of them shift, rustle, crinkle, whisper.
I am in charge of the rake and the broom.
Most will follow my directions. How great
that feels. Predictability has all
but vanished outside my small radius of
oak, maple, chestnut, dogwood, beech, ash.
Later, I am moved to bake a cobbler.
Comfort food may get us through this long night.
Maybe many nights to come. And Woody Guthrie.
ELECTION DEFLECTIONS was first published 12/04/20 at The New Verse News blog site.