Monday, July 21, 2014

Robert Cooperman


You try to politely explain that I.D.'s
from the local university and out-of-state
drivers’ licenses aren't sufficient,
but some people just won't listen.

"What would be sufficient?" the young man
demanded, in that precise enunciation
that means he's about to say or do something
he'll regret: steam practically shooting
from his ears and nose, eyes twitching,
fingers threatening to squeeze the life
out of me, for merely being the messenger.

"A local driver's license," I told him
for the fourth time, sick of repeating it.
"So we can be sure you're not perpetrating
voter fraud," and shooed sweet old
Mrs. Dile into one of the voting booths.

"How come you didn't ask for her license?"

"Young man," I scolded, "Mrs. Dile
hasn't driven in more than ten years."

"So she’s good to go without proper I.D.?"

"Now you listen here," I pointed.
"Everyone knows the Diles; we don't
know you. Go vote where you came from."

"The polls will be closed before I even
board a plane," he rolled his eyes.

"You should've thought of that before!"
Luckily, that nice police officer was right
by the door when that odious boy shouted
I was a Klanswoman. The very idea!

Kristen Chapman Gibbons reads "Incident at a Polling Place..." (coming soon):

Cooperman confesses: "'Incident at a Polling Place' grew out the Supreme Court's vile decision that money (like the Koch brothers' largess) showered on political candidates equals free speech. and not undue influence. It was just a short leap from there to imagine that the five activist judges on the Court would then vote to repeal the Voting Rights Act, since it seems to me that their purpose in many of their more malignant rulings is to start a real race war with guns and blood in the street and everyone but white, Christian males either dead, in exile, or enslaved."

ROBERT COOPERMAN's latest collection is Just Drive (Brick Road Poetry Press). He is currently working on a collection about his father's experiences in the army at the end of World War II.

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