Vox Populi: A Public Sphere for Politics and Poetry
My friend sitting outside the cafe
on the Left Bank texts me she thinks
our country has lost its collective
mind. She puts down her phone
to watch the cabs and buses,
the workers walk over the Pont Neuf.
I’ve only been there once
which is enough to write
their names. And not feel I have
to text her right back to defend
my way of life. Still living here
in the country, a half-mile
from my town’s temporary polling
station. A word I could tease her with,
by taking a selfie standing near
an electric fence, a small herd of polled
Herefords, curious enough to amble
closer, to see what the reflection
of themselves is about. To see
if I have a handful of molasses-stained
grain to feed them. Not that a handful
would add to their weight-in-the-world.
Would do anything more than delay
their turning away for less than it takes her
to message me to do anything
one person can do. To see inside a thousand
backpacks and briefcases walking by her.
To know something she doesn’t,
she wouldn’t have any way of knowing.
She could use the hive mind of her friends,
her Facebook friends for. A corporate name
a second ago I was reluctant to use.
Until one of you posted for both of us
to look up from our phones. To see that
package synched at our feet.
Copyright 2017 Gary Margolis
Pont Neuf, Paris