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Saturday, November 10, 2012

ELECTION CANVASSING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, 2012

by Mary Dingee Fillmore

Illustration by Christiane Engel


The woman who never votes
cracks the door.  Her grimy trailer stinks
of smoke and despair.  She says no,
the election’s nothing to do with her,
as she shoves her kids behind her, swats
at the dog.  I can’t persuade her.

Walking down her rotting steps, I go on
driving the streets, knocking on doors, not
for him, the President, likeable and whole
but for her, her young face already sagging.
I have to stop a white man burdened
with too many Cadillacs, whose every meal
is cooked by a woman, who hasn’t ironed
a shirt for decades. To stop him now
from clawing away the last of her few
rights, the right to whatever’s left
of her beautiful, human body
so like mine.


Mary Dingee Fillmore is a poet and novelist who writes about the Holocaust and Resistance in the Netherlands among other subjects.  Her work has been published here, the Atlanta Review, Slant, Upstreet, Pearl, Diner, Westview, Main Street Rag, Pinyon and Blueline.  In her spare time, she helps nonprofit organizations decide what to do and why, and has had her own business, Changing Work, since 1982.