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Letter to America by Lisa Suhair Majaj

One Poem

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Voting 2020

I filled out my absentee ballot, mailed it in from one
divided country to another, accompanied by the necessary
verifying statements, careful not to commit accidental voter
fraud, to pretend I was someone else, to vote while dead,
or employ any other tactic intended to undermine democracy
in the Divided States of America. Across the sea voters marched
in the streets, shouting Stop the Count or Count the Vote.
“The people need to make a difference,” said a protester
on the evening news, and after the race was called
(though the defeated candidate refused to concede,
his supporters screeching accusations across the internet)
a CNN commentator wept, saying “character matters,
being a good person matters, the character of the country matters.”
Later I went outside and examined the sky shared by us all—
its fabric rent by the lingering blood moon, that orange orb
looming over a world splintered beyond recognition,
though for that reason all the more familiar—conscious
of the divided homelands shaping my fractured wholeness,
my body split, then doubled by childbirth, my soul struck
to sparks multiplied beyond counting. On voting day 2020
Delia Garces, age 107, headed to the voting booth, unafraid
of Covid. A Dominican immigrant who’d never missed an election,
she’d taught 7 kids, 19 grandkids, 40 great grandkids,
34 great great grandkids, and a great great great grandchild
to always do the right thing. “Vote for the best,” she urged,
then cast her own vote, a spark of light in a darkness closing in.




Lisa Suhair MajajLisa Suhair Majaj is the author of Geographies of Light (2008 Del Sol Press Poetry Prize winner). Her poetry was displayed in the exhibit Aftermath: The Fallout of War – America and the Middle East, Harn Museum of Art, 2016. A Palestinian-American, she lives in Cyprus.

Header photo by Leigh Prather, courtesy Shutterstock.


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