Poetry: Write-in

I’m running for the first time

for First Constable

in my town of Cornwall

 

Vermont. Sue Johnson,

our Town Clerk, tells me

the duties are non-existent,

 

if not minimal. In fact,

she says, the Select Board

doesn’t allow the constable

 

to do anything. No badge-wearing.

No pulling over a speeding

driver. Arresting a dog

 

for not wearing his tag. Not

investigating the rumor

the Town Poet might have

 

stolen a line from his neighbor.

As Frost said, when a reporter

asked him where he found his free

 

spoken lines. To which he retorted,

from a Dragon in Ripton Vermont,

where he lived in the summer.

 

Meaning Stafford Dragon,

his hired man. Who took down

the hay and barreled the apples.

 

Who ran for Town Moderator

and won by one vote.

Which is all I might need,

 

to take me over the top.

If you remember to write

my name in the blank box.

 

An X, if you forget who I am.

Running to not have to do

anything. Never to be called

 

out in the middle of the night.

To shine a light into the trees

and into your eyes.

      — Gary Margolis, Cornwall

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