This poem originally appeared in Autumn Sky Poetry.
Long Drive to Portland
The highway blinks between sheets
of rain and sleet, drops that bounce
from paint pealing back along the hood,
drops that smack the windshield
like fireflies in headlight glare.
Almost there turns to not-quite-there
turns to why-do-I-want-to-be-there
in the first place, bearing witness
to the slow softening of breath,
slowing rise and fall of his chest.
Once a poem is posted online, most publications consider it a reprint and won’t consider it for publication. So I figure I may as well post those poems where rights have reverted back to me, but are unlikely to be republished anywhere but in a collection of poems (which is completed, submitted, but not yet accepted). This poem took second place in the IBPC several months ago and was reprinted during Grass Roots Books & Music‘s National Poetry Month campaign (on Earth Day, April 2007).
As I went to check my email this morning, a headline on MSN caught my attention, “Dirty tricks increase as Election Day nears.” I’ve been following voter suppression stories for more than a month and couldn’t be more angry about the legalized disenfranchisement that is happening in states all across the nation. This story isn’t about legalized disenfranchisement, though. Instead, it focuses on illegal, misleading or downright false fliers, pamphlets, and phone calls that people are receiving days before the election. From threats about police being at the polls to arrest people with parking tickets to lies about when the election will happen, people who don’t believe in real democracy are out in force this year.