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"Vote" by Callista Markotich - 45 Poems of Protest
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I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone, and I
wouldn’t lose any voters.
- Donald Trump, Presidential Candidate, 2016

I. Braggart

Hark. Cavalcade costly ho-humming on Fifth Avenue
black jackets beetle to pentacle points surrounding this lumen,
wide-strided, the gold of the coif, the pewter of gun.  O how
loyals slaver to witness straight shooting and truth, defense
of the second amendment and no. He will lose not one single vote.

II. Blessings

Blessings on you in the navy blue pea coat,
for you are the someone, your collar turned up
in the damp morning air, head tumbling with
numbers or contacts or loved ones, you’re walking
to work on Fifth Avenue.

Your close-knitted toque, understated, urbane,
tucked in your arm a New York Times folded,
this man does not deem you a voter of his, why
didn’t God will you to duck into Starbucks
or stop for a light.

May your days have been happy. The man
cannot see if you’re white, black or brown,
and this should not matter; in fact, it is better
that this be a random, impersonal matter
on Fifth Avenue.

Don’t worry, police will go up to your condo,
your calico kitten found playful and safe.
May she be adopted by one of your neighbors
who’ll treat her with kindness, a true rescue kitten,
so blessings on Ginger (that’s what they’ll rename her)

and God bless your parents and help them accept
that your purpose was vital, a martyr for truth:
that truth must to be manifest, witness be borne
in annals of power and legends of glory
that this golden-coifed man would not lose a vote.

III.  Behold: A to Z

Alas, alas how anarchy sweeps Fifth Avenue, a
bullet, a body, blood laps the boulevard, bewilderment bides.
Cops, cars and cameras, citizens in chaos,
democracy downbound midst dumbstricken drivers,
epithets and epitaphs and
falsetto flurries of
God talk and gridlock and
Journalists jostling, O judges and jurors,
kettles of kindnesses sloshed on the street,
loving again, lamenting
mortality. Here reigns mere mayhem, unloosed in New York.
New York, the nucleus of never again
ought to have eyes opened to omens,
predicted, protested from the beginning,
quotes (as above) a quotidian warning. Do
rush to judgement and riot and roar!
Steadfastly, surgically
try to
untie these
veins where the variant and venal blood flows.
Worm out an
exit, exhort it, expect it,
United and States ye well know it: your
Zeitgeist breathes on with each one single vote.

Callista Markotich has had a lifelong career in education as a Teacher,
Principal and Superintendent of Education in Eastern Ontario. Retired, she
lives in Kingston where Lake Ontario becomes the Saint Lawrence River.
Her recent poems appear in
The Nashwaak Review, Riddlefence, in
promotional materials of the
Thousand Islands Playhouse and in the
spring edition of
The New Quarterly.
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