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Monday, October 11, 2010


by Sharon Lask Munson

It’s not the hand that signs the laws
  that holds the destiny of America.
  It’s the hand that casts the ballot.
    — Harry S. Truman

I don’t vote
the woman proclaims smugly
as the plane approaches the gate.

Every morning she crunches numbers
buying and selling stocks and bonds,
ciphers margins,
scribbles numerals in plump portfolios
while slowly sipping her favorite
vanilla-flavored double-latte.

She never steps into a voting booth
or assumes responsibility,
lives comfortably on the twenty-fifth floor
overlooking the park,
her dark-green, late-model Citroen, garaged
for getaways and country weekends.

She spurns political discussions,
never watches debates
or studies candidates running for office,
doesn’t think political parties stand for her
as she never agrees
and both sides are wrong.

She speaks out against school bonds
as her children are grown,
rejects branch libraries
and rapid transit,
talks down America,
is out of town for elections —

boards planes easily,
packs lightly, flying to foreign shores,
extols the virtues of café crème and Camembert,
peppers her conversation with a little French
and a spatter of Italian,
makes herself at home in the world
as she tangos from border to border.

Sharon Lask Munson grew up in Detroit, Michigan.  After thirty years of teaching overseas and in Alaska, she is retired and lives in Eugene, Oregon.  She has poems in Sandcutters, Windfall, Verseweaves, Earth’s Daughter, Thema, Drash: Northwest Mosaic, Goose River Press, and many others.  Her chapbook, Stillness Settles Down the Lane, was published in Summer, 2010, by Uttered Chaos Press.