In case you didn’t know it’s Election Day

6 Nov

So you should go vote. There, I said it.

But guess what else it means? It’s the end of the campaigning! Thank Zeus.

No more fliers in my mailbox, or slipped under my door. No more people in the subway asking me if I have five minutes to talk about their guy. No more commercials, phone calls, annoying facebook posts and tweets.

So, though I don’t usually post unpublished poems here, today is an exception. This is based on the last guy who rang my doorbell, in his jeans and grey t-shirt telling me that his guy, should be my guy because his guy knows all about what it’s like to be a woman in today’s world. Without further ado (about nothing)…..

Campaigning

When the buzzer rings he startles me.

Home alone, nearly 8 at night

and I’m not expecting guests.

I rise from the couch.

The cat follows me, mewing.

She’s nervous too.

He knocks.

And when I flip open the peephole

He says, “Hi.”

He’s there in jeans and a grey t-shirt.

Thin. Young. In his hand is a clipboard

and some flyers.

I determine I can take him if need be,

only a few short steps to the knife block

and I slide the dead bolt back,

open the door.

He introduces himself.

He reads my name off a piece of paper,

and doesn’t even stumble over

the long eastern european surname.

He asks if that’s me.

I nod.

He asks if he said my name right.

I nod again.

Then he launches into his campaign speech.

He tells me what his guy is going to do,

what the current guy isn’t doing. He gives me a pamphlet.

His guy is white and smiling.

He looks caring but also able to make those hard calls.

He looks fun but also serious.

He looks like he’s fighting for me, not anyone else.

He looks so American I can hardly stand it.

The kid at the door is telling me that I don’t get paid

the same as men.

“Did you know you only make 72 cents for every dollar a man makes?”

He opens his eyes wide and I nod.

I tell him yes, I do know that.

I tell him I’m familiar with wage disparity and the glass ceiling

a term that he just blinks at.

he doesn’t know that one and I hide my smile.

He tells me that if he were a woman he’d be furious.

He says this with sincerity.

He’d have no choice but to vote for his guy.

I wonder what he would tell me

if I were black

or Asian

or a man.

A republican.

A democrat.

A single mother

A retiree.

A starving college graduate buried up to my neck in student loans.

A war veteran.

A gun nut.

A hippy.

A drug addict.

I wonder how many speeches he’s got stored away

in that brain, this young kid

in his jeans and grey t-shirt.

He’s so eager and believes in what he’s doing.

I feel old standing near him,

so very old

so very far from the first

election I voted in

the way I had felt at that time

so hopeful

so powerful

so part of America

in my jeans and grey t-shirt.

He asks me to sign a form.

He asks for my email.

I give him the junk one that I keep for this kind of thing.

He bids me a good night.

He is pumped and there are ever so many doors in this apartment building.

I wish him luck

and realize that I mean it.

I lock the door

and cross the floor and I can

hear him ringing the bell

of the elderly Chinese woman next door.

I hope he speaks Cantonese.

I toss

his flier onto the coffee table.

I lift the glass of scotch to my lips

and smile.

The ice has melted, watering it down

And I missed the end of the

symphony on the radio.

I lost my page in the book I was reading.

But at least I still got the

Angry Young Woman speech.

If nothing else, even all these years later I can still get that

from the eager young man in his jeans and grey t-shirt.

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