I watched a lonely woman go to vote, elderly.
Rain had made the path a slick to fell
the innocent and old, and lips pursed tight
to keep her opinion to herself
she struggled, mincing steps and grabbing signs
until warm air gushed from the polling place
and ushered her as if in church,
but this was no place of sanctity for her,
no kneeling sanctuary. Her motivation was to mark,
bent to the weight of a paper ballot,
as if shouldering the responsibility of democracy.
A few circles to fill, a label for her lapel
that she would leave adhered for a week.
She’d been asked to speak, and did.