Failure to perform

I hear a Senator say Democracy
is a lady of the night and we are a republic
of virtue so, there is no need to count every vote

The Senator says, why should you count the ballots
of those who pay no income tax
the nation isn’t New Hampshire or Texas
where people renting apartments pay no remittance
on property and wages because it’s live free or die
under a lone star sky

I hear a Representative declare Democracy
is a whore in a limousine with too many children
he forbids her an abortion, she should
‘try the foster system’ because life begins at conception

Outside state capitols Democracy joins
the multitudes demanding a living wage a morning
after pill over-the-counter contraception no more pink tax
and affordable formula for her infant with no boots and feet bleeding
from crossing a glass ceiling

A journalist asks Democracy, what does your partner do?
she says he is a pilot who sits in a dark room all-day
flying drones across Pakistan for Uncle Sam
he sports a t-shirt, man bun, and sweats and says his vote
should count twice because of how much money he makes.

The Minority Leader declares he will investigate
each impropriety committed by the current administration
we will bring an end to any existing commission
designed to condemn the man 74 million chose in the last election
-to hate him is to hate them- no more making war on true Americans

The people, yes, they get to make choices
and they’ve given a collective shrug to anything
other than fighting inflation, flying Venezuelans
to the Vineyard and bringing prices down
we will consider impeachment proceedings
and reign in entitlements while making sure
the only good judges are our judges

Our Republic is on the ballot

Outside the Minority Leader’s office
Democracy sits in with her children
quietly filling the lobby
why aren’t they in school his aid asks
she says it’s because their school was closed
for a failure to perform.

About the Poem

This poem is a reflection (and comment) on the current state of politics in the days leading up to the American midterm election. Specifically, it is a meditation on the suggestion that the most important issue is inflation.

About the Author

Jeremy Nathan Marks lives in Canada. Recent work appears/will appear in places like Wilderness House Literary Review, Flash Fiction Online, CafeLit, Die Meere Lit, Apocalypse Confidential, Poetica Review, Unlikely Stories, and Sip Cup. He is the author of the poetry collection, Of Fat Dogs & Amorous Insects and is a 2023 Best of the Net nominee in poetry.

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