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Monday, October 22, 2012


by Susan de Sola and Ed Shacklee

"They brought us whole binders full of women."

All lies aside, this tart reminder:
It wasn’t Mitt who built the binder.
Massachusetts women – tired
of being courted, but not hired –

approached both camps. The deal was done
long before Mitt Romney won;
and though the old boys called them girlies,
they had Mitt by the short and curlies.

The governor listened, nodded, flattered,
and gave them posts – but none that mattered:
despite that firm, self-serving pledge,
he side-stepped and began to hedge,

to keep his comfy male preserve
where those who reign pretend to serve,
till gifted women started guessing
that they were only window dressing,

and each year watched their numbers drop.
But hey – perhaps they loved to shop,
gossip, have some babies, nurse –
employment only made things worse;

or so the governor suspected.
Oh, well – by then he'd been elected.
Déjà vu: like them we’re finding
how little Mitt considers binding.

Again he wants the votes he lacks:
again he says he’s got their backs,
laminated, perforated,
reproduced and regulated,

for they’ll be hired when times are flush,
otherwise there is no rush.
He condescendingly reminds them
how their domestic duty binds them.


Those fillers and binders are relevant
since Willard's amok on an elephant.
Ironic, isn't it? They found
that Mitt prefers his women bound.

Susan de Sola is an American poet living in the Netherlands. A winner of the David Reid Poetry Translation Prize, she has work published or forthcoming in The Hopkins Review, American Arts Quarterly, Measure, Light, Ambit and River Styx, among other venues.

Ed Shacklee
is a public defender who represents young people in the District of Columbia. His poems have appeared in Angle, Contra, The Flea, Light and Lucid Rhythms, among other places.