Poetry: Midterms


Here in Cornwall, my small town

in Vermont, a precinct of deer

and leaves, I like to think

Of my neighbors who are likely

to volunteer for anything.

Coming to our town hall

to set up enough booths.

easily taken down.

I like to think of them

as little puppet theaters,

cabanas for changing

our government every

two and four years.

Our own version of voting

democracy. Where,

if you lived here and were standing

in the booth next me. trying

to decide who would make a good

watcher of fence posts, counter

of coal, even a next best president,

it wouldn’t surprise you to hear one of us

asking, from booth to booth,

Charlie, who are you voting for?

How’s your good wife?

Did you get your deer?

Questions, I like to think

whomever it is next to you answers.

Privacy, a luxury, native and flat-

lander alike, we give up, for the beauty

of stepping outside in the coming

snow. Leaving tracks with our boots

and poles, the skis on our snowmachines.

The privilege of feeling the plow

in the middle of the night shaking

the house. Like votes from the heavy

branches. Falling. Making a country again.

— Gary Margolis


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