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by W. Mahlon Purdin

I was standing there in the line
Looking at my fellow voters
And I saw them with the face
Or expression of doubt
Of being unplaced in time.
As though they knew they were
Standing there waiting to cast
A meaningless vote
In sea of meaningless votes
That at the very best
Would all add up to
Something less
Than meaningless.
They were still dead-set
Determined, solid and implacable
In their determination to do it.

The line was the longest line
I've ever seen for voting
And getting longer all the time.
It reminded me of a line
I was in at an airport once
Where I was running to catch the end
But the end of the line
Was moving away faster than I could run.

I had a sense that if they had
To stand there for a week,
They would stand there for a week.
I had a feeling that if a hurricane came by
They would not be moved.

Both sides of the election
Were standing there
Side by side.
They were all there:
The people who were for my candidate
The people who were against my candidate.
When something funny happened
Everyone laughed.

It was fun to be in that line;
That meaningless line going nowhere.
We were all perfectly happy there.
Contented really.
Lost in that middle distance
Between here and there.
In a place where time has been
Set aside for some purpose,
And there were no limits or requirements,
Around this time.
We just stood there
Watching the clock, watching each other

Someone mentioned
The sun coming up that morning,
How it looked like a giant "O"
Rising in the sky. Some people
Found that funny. Some did not.

This time in line reminded me
Of waiting for an airplane
Or a night watch on an ocean racer:
It was just time that was there
In the now. Not in the tomorrow
Or in the yesterday,
It was just all of us standing there
Waiting for the polls to open.
Waiting to vote.

7:57 a.m.


Posted on 11/13/2014
Copyright © 2023 W. Mahlon Purdin

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by June Labyzon on 11/16/14 at 01:07 PM

We shall not,we shall not be moved.....reminds me of that spiritual....

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