Voting in this election is critical. But it’s not enough.
This poem doesn’t pretend to be a full prescription for what our country needs. It’s just my way of acknowledging that all electoral choices are imperfect. Because even more important is what happens between elections—the long, slow work of building a culture of love and justice for our politicians to live up to.
And the better we do that work the better our options will be next time elections come around.
What To Do After Voting
Take back that part of yourself
you lent to politicians
and focus close at hand.
Pledge your allegiance
to the mother down the street
whose kids have grown out
of their summer shoes again.
And if you’re going to raise a flag
let it be the flag of forgiveness,
the flag of our complicity
in so much we say we’re against.
Under that flag you and I
can build a small new world
and nurture it as it grows.
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