Election Day

by David Chorlton

The homeless, on election day, are still
without a roof above their heads;

like the man who tears his days apart
at Third Avenue and Thomas Road

by way of paper sheets he turns
to snowflakes in his rough

and fumbling hands. I see him
every Tuesday, every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

too. I see him but never
say a word. He doesn’t look up

from his work, which today is to sweep
the little area where he lives,

swish, swish, clean enough for him
to lie down on the pavement

next to his cardboard box which he never
lets out of his sight, and raising the broom,

the signs, swish, swish, that say
the right lane must turn right and no parking

here. He’s focused; I can see this
in his solemn eyes. He’s voting

with the broom swinging back and forth
above his head, once to the left, once

to the right, swish, swish, between hope
and no hope with each choice the same.

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1 Response to Election Day

  1. Joyce Juzwik says:

    I really like this. Vivid portrayal of those in society who seem just on the fringe of reality. When we pass them, we look and try so hard not to actually see. This is the view of someone who chose to see. We all go on about our lives and we debate and make choices and the politicians talk and promise and life moves forward, but not for some. Apparently their vote doesn’t count for much.

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