Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November 2, 2010

Entry for One Shot Wednesday

I voted today
in the linoleum yellow underbelly of
Emmanuel Lutheran
the place that plays Kumbaya to me
on great big bells while I sit by the river

was it only strange to me
 to be voting in a church?
maybe more so to people
who still like our church and state separate

I stood in line for my ballot
taking in the colorful Alleluia banners
the children had made
I wondered what they celebrated,
what they praised and gave thanks for as they made them

driving to the polls I was behind a semi on the freeway
on the back a sign with an American flag told me about
our country not giving aid or comfort to "the enemy"
Shock settled in    anger stirred
as if all the people - the citizens - of Afghanistan and Iraq
are our enemies     personally
they're as helpless to their governments
as we are to ours
in the dust next to the sign
someone had written the name Jesus
He would be hurt, I think, to see this
maybe even ashamed    or that's just how I felt
I don't think Jesus believed in enemies
I don't either

but waiting for that line we've all felt so divided
I've never felt us so polarized before
it scares me
I feel obligated to vote only D
because the things the R's say -
they really scare me
but I wish I could vote G or I
without feeling it a loss

behind collapsible plastic privacy
a black felt marker with
No. 2 oval holes
I break out my cheat-sheet
(yep, I wrote it down. just to be sure)
fill in all the right spaces and
a machine - secretly - sucks it away from me
I got a sticker  (my favorite part)
I don't know if I've changed anything
or how much of a difference one can make this way
I'm not sure I trust the whole thing
much more than McDonald's Monopoly
but, I suppose, Alleluia
that I have a right to try.


  1. Oh yes , we all have a right to try, to strive and be alive..

  2. you let your voice be heard...we are as hopeless to our government as they are theirs...i like that line...and now it is in their in a church may have been more comforting...nice one shot!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. budh.aaah - I'm so glad we do have rights in this country, I'm just not sure what they get us. Thanks for stopping by!

    Brian Miller - It kind of was strangely comforting, even though I'm not a Christian. Kind of more surreal, too. Voting to take part in a system I don't really understand or agree with in the building of a religion I left long ago... Thanks for stopping by!

    Kraxpelax - Wow! What a lot of stuff you've brought. Thanks for stopping by! I am on my way to your blog.

  5. Did you get your "I Voted" sticker? (I did!)

    An interesting and timely One Shot!

  6. Hey! They didn't give me a sticker... And the machine that sucks your ballot in spit mine back out the first time. Blue state, but red machines?

  7. While I stood in line to vote, I read poetry. You found the poetry in the polling place. Nice one (although I have to admit I voted for one D and the rest Rs).

  8. Very nice ... I liked the view of your elections...ours in India - The largest democracy in the world, is so different but then after reading some of other thoughts on the same and politicians, I feel its more or less same every where. Thanks for sharing the view...

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay

  9. without knowing much about your politics..the troubles of iraq and Afghanistan still trouble and affect my country were write re we are as hopeless to our government as they are theirs

  10. Eric - I got my "I Voted" sticker. My favorite! I think I'll put it on my lap top.

    PattiKen - I'm sorry about the sticker, or lack thereof. I didn't get one for two years in a row and felt cheated. We need to send someone out to have a talk with your machines!

    Glynn - That's cool, I meant to bring a book and forgot. Thanks for liking my poem even though I voted D!

    Shashi - I think it is the same everywhere. I think everything is the same everywhere. Most of the problems we have in this world stem from mixed-up beliefs that thigs are different. Thanks you for visiting!

    Pete - I send much love to your country and to Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm not proud of the war we're in. War is simply wrong. We only have this one little blue ball. The only way to make it right is for us to all work together and rather than feeling hopeless to our governments, we should feel powerful in our abilities to help others- all others.

    Thanks, everyone, for visiting! I will come read you all soon!

  11. You captured the way a lot of us are feeling. Really cool write.

  12. Mama Zen - Thanks so much! I wish we felt different but at least we're not alone in this.

  13. Well done! Your writing is amazing! I love this, I had to vote in a church as well and thought the same thing.

  14. Thanks. It's weird. But with so many Republicans having been voted in, that may explain it.