Election Day

A burning in the trees
and faces everywhere.
Pumpkin shells on porches
grimace in the process of decay,
sidewalks busy with the sounds
of leaf blowers and voter traffic.

Every TV is on.
Screens splash blue and red,
like the last blast of foliage
in flagging twilight. We choose
our leaders but not the season.
Each evening, the sun slides
lower in the sky and burns
a more intense orange.

Unemployment: 9.1%
Temperature: Highs in the mid 50’s

Soon, snow will muffle
the remains of this year’s struggle—
streets blossoming coats, scarves, mittens.
Potatoes will hunker in our cellars,
ghosts of this year’s bounty.
We return to our daily dilemmas:
What to wear for work,
what to eat for lunch,
nothing as serious as what clouds
look like at the end of this century.

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