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Wednesday, May 25, 2011


by Martha Deed

It is the morning of the special election in the 26th district
the world is holding its breath
the robo calls declare its importance
and no notice of polling places its secrecy

odd to feel so important in this backwater
of rust-belt cities and rain-drenched fields
unfit for plowing – a pair of catbirds hop
under the elderberry bush and sing stolen songs

the e-bird count may be off as well
House Wrens singing or Catbird mimics?
so now we will restrict ourselves
to what we see, not what we hear

the republican in this house informs the survey taker
he is an independent – he is not
he is merely shamed by his party
his vote no secret in this house

no secret to survey-takers
no secret to his friends and family
his embarrassment equal to his rage
he will find the secret polling place – and vote

Editor's Note: Democrats are claiming victory in New York's 26th District special election.

Martha Deed lives in the 26th district in North Tonawanda, NY.  Recent publications include The November 2010 ProjectThe Lost Shoe (Naissance) and City Bird: Selected Poems (1991-2009) by Millie Niss, edited by Martha Deed. She has previously published at The New Verse News.