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Tuesday, July 12, 2011


by Caitlin Krause

Here in Belgium, televisions show French news
because it has more accurate weather,
compelling sports, and the lurid appeal
of political scandals that put soaps to shame.
It’s Cannes, the Tour de France and DSK
all in one.  Across a dinner table, a Belgian
asks, Would you vote for him for president?
I want to know the opinion of a woman,
he says, adding, and what do you think of his
wife, standing right by his side?  I ask him,
What do you think of the Belgian stand-still
for the past year and a half?  What do you think
of the lack of a government?
he can only smile at the ridiculousness
of it all.  Would I even vote for anyone?
I’d sooner play Anne Sinclair each night,
toasting release from recent house arrest,
crafting my latest statement for the public,
flashing my grin all the way to my perfumed pillow…
Does the opinion of a woman set itself apart,
or is there a code that renders all opinions moot?
Natural law once had a name, before charades
made the daily French news far too titillating.

Caitlin Krause is an American writer living in Brussels, Belgium, where she teaches English at an international school.  She has a deep interest in ethics, society and social (lack of) conscience.  She earned her M.F.A. in creative writing from Lesley University, and she continues to publish prose and poetry.  She enjoys running, photography, dark chocolate, and the daily rainstorm.