After the Elections
bottle through the rear window isn't that big a
deal. Random ace of spades or drunken joker
even a kind of redneck beauty. A glass nebula,
from where the
longneck Corona shattered, poking its black
hole through a
windshield wreathed in stars.
Elections are over. The signs are down. &
at Cloud Acre
it's back to wood-weathered fence, rabbitbrush
& our bare
bones dry grass barrow ditch.
At least nobody got killed exercising their
right to vote.
Except the beautiful Jan Lemon, a few days
caught in the cab of her pickup by the falling
arms of a
cottonwood trunk, tottering on the brink of
roots, thick as a tank, her doing 50 in a 55
zone. Driving into
Norwood, as we all do, 2-3-4 times a week,
to pick up the mail,
stop at the bank, get bread milk & a video.
"Shaggy" they called
her, a lover of horses & her three-year-old
& her old man
ranchhand, Dale. The tree crushing her instantly.
Weeks later & still we drive by the same
tall row of
pioneer cottonwoods, north of the Jensen place
145 between the Cone Road & the Cemetery.
It's the 21st Century of the Christian Era
(or year 15002
of human habitation on the New World continents
Island, Isthmus of Panama, the Andes &
the Amazon). No
word of hanging chads this time but still Capital's
loot & its nuclear O&M mounting up
like coin hoards in the
trophy home vaults of Scrooge McDuck clones,
coiffeured in their Armani chic & Brooks
Brothers best. Men &
now women who continue to take control of the
like booty, flying their corporate flags.
Who needs a crystal ball to see first the ballot
then the national ID cards & then the international
& then the scifi future scareware we've
all been dreaming about?
Not my utopia. But maybe theirs. Eco dead zones.
mountain peaks & caves for the neo-Anasazi
in retreat & on the
But that's yet to come. Right now it's just
to the right. Private property ascendant. Obscene
profits & the
slow death of the middle class.
All this & more in the richest country
in the First World
& all we messianic good-doers can do is
keep it from going
postal & wait our turn to swing it back
to the green. Living
wages. Solar power & the grassroots democracy
of wilderness &
natural hot springs.
Waiting once again to vote out the rascals
& vote in the