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Rachel Cathleen Stewart

And on Election Night

You never voted until me
You were so intellectual
You thought that your thoughts
Would not make any difference

Not even if they changed
From the words you chew inside your mouth
To black pen strokes on a ballot

But your thoughts
They changed me
My internal policies
While you shifted
And sorted your
Credit card bills and personal amendments

And yet
You didnít think your voice
So soft
As soft as mine
At age five
Was worth being heard

We voted early at the mall
The tiniest room
For the biggest election
We ate Chic-fil-a
The bites of chicken
Sweet salty hot
Against our tongues

We waited
For change
But nothing changed
The snow of confetti
Did not fall on our heads
We slept in different houses
Waiting still
Sleeping completely still
Wrapped up in our sheets
and expectations of four better years
better than the last
that have left us
and the American Dream
limping and pimping itself out
as the Only Good Thing left
in a world of Many

And out of the many people that were
There you are still
You believe in a better world
That we all have wings
That on occasion we can fly
If the sun is out
If the wind is right
And if the chance of precipitation
is less than 30 percent

Oh you, the one true politician
Because you were burnt out
On Model UN and all the lies
The taxes rising
Like prices at Walmart fall
And still
You fell in love with me
Barely kissed and a voting virgin

And even though
Our voices rose to the slightest whisper
A majority barely heard
If you marked your ballot
The way you marked me
That is all that matters

©2006 by Rachel Cathleen Stewart

Rachel Cathleen Stewart plans to graduate from the University of Chattanooga at Tennessee in May 2006, with a B.A. in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing. After graduation, she plans to get her M.A. in Creative Writing. She has been writing poetry and short stories since the age of 10. For more information, see her journal.

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