Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Election Day!

Last summer, tired by the political rhetoric, I wrote this poem about my own experience with politics. It's written about and in honor of my daughter. Enjoy! (And vote.)

Debating Domestic Policy
by Rochelle Melander

Independent Voter
If my daughter adores it, I don’t
If I exclaim, “Wear it!” She won’t
If she’s trying to decide between this or that,
and I say pick this—she picks that.

Campaign Finance Reform
If I bought it at full price from a fancy store, in-style and in-season,
forget about it.
If she bought it for ten cents from Goodwill, off-the-shoulder and outdated,
She loves it!

Flip-flop Politics
When it’s hot with a chance of heat exhaustion,
she skips off to school in her leopard print snow boots.
Her spin, “Don’t worry, Mom: I’m not wearing socks.”
When it’s freezing with a chance of frostbite,
she lobbies to wear her Hannah Montana flip-flops.
Outside she takes a u-turn,
heads back in to change, saying, “Why didn’t you tell me it was cold?”

Wedge Politics
If the shorts fit perfectly, but the size is less than her age—she says, “Too small”
If the size matches her age but the pants fall down—“A perfect fit!”
All is well until she forgets to hold on,
and, “I see London I see France, . . .”

Red State, Blue State, Purple State
If I say, “It’s an art day. Let’s pick something that can’t get ruined.”
She chooses fancy, fluffy, dry-clean-only red silk and velvet.
When fancy, fluffy, dry-clean-only red silk and velvet mixes it up with blue finger-painted hands,
I say, “Purple! Perfect!”
She says: “Purple! It’s ruined!”

Battleground States
If I lay out the perfect outfit
It doesn’t matter how much I’ve thought it through—
If she says the sleeves are too short
If she declares the tag scratchy or the fabric wiggly
If she deems it babyish or boyish or just plain bad—
I back away slowly and say, “Mistakes were made.”

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