My mother was born before
women’s suffrage, and she voted
in five states and eleven towns.
Even in age she learned
the local issues, the politicians.
She voted school bonds,
and could never understood
why people who had an education
were not glad to be taxed
so children could have a chance.
The last time I remember well –
her eyesight was gone, her hands shook
and she was in a wheelchair.
She’d lost weight in a pneumonia
and depended on pills
to keep dementia at bay.
For that matter,
she depended on Depends.
She would never vote absentee,
and in the special needs booth
the poll worker read the ballot aloud,
line by line, and she named
her black circles with a clear voice.
She voted for Obama with joy,
but she had worked for Hillary Clinton.
My mother loved her from the earliest days.
She trusted and believed in her.
She studied her speeches,
her courage, her calm under stress.
“It takes a village,”
my mother would say of many things.
We wrote her obituary together,
and she asked me to name as memorial —
East African starvation …
and please vote.
The paper made me pay for that line.
I voted in the primary
and in November I will vote again,
This time — I’m with Her,
and her and her and her and her.