Poetry Monday: Exquisite Politics

Tomorrow I will be meeting with members of congress to urge them to consider the needs of patients with arthritis and the physicians who treat them. Though I am often frustrated with the political process, I am also filled with enormous love for this country, with its messy representative democracy that lumbers along, beautiful and tragic all at once. To be part of the process, no matter how small, is both a great honor and a great responsibility.

Exquisite Politics
by Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton

The perfect voter has a smile but no eyes,
maybe not even a nose or hair on his or her toes,
maybe not even a single sperm cell, ovum, little paramecium.
Politics is a slug copulating in a Poughkeepsie garden.
Politics is a grain of rice stuck in the mouth
of a king. I voted for a clump of cells,
anything to believe in, true as rain, sure as red wheat.
I carried my ballots around like smokes, pondered big questions,
resources and need, stars and planets, prehistoric
languages. I sat on Alice’s mushroom in Central Park,
smoked longingly in the direction of the mayor’s mansion.
Someday I won’t politic anymore, my big heart will stop
loving America and I’ll leave her as easy as a marriage,
splitting our assets, hoping to get the advantage
before the other side yells: Wow! America,
Vespucci’s first name and home of free and brave, Te amo.

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