Friday, November 4, 2016

Poem for Election Day

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Laura at Writing the World for Kids for Roundup.

I don't enjoy politics, but I do appreciate the fact that I live in a country where my voice counts for something. 

Freedom matters to me. A lot.

Here's a poem I wrote about it that was published in Scholastic's Storyworks magazine back in 2012.  Happy voting!

Election Day

Sift through promises,
replay interviews;

step inside the booth.
Forget scripted speeches

and candy-wrapped slogans.
Weigh again each pro

and con. Remember
the teeming world,

its people who dream
of freedom --

so many denied
the right to decide.

Read the names,
imagine a future;

make the best choice.
In the space between breaths

your voice is heard
without a word.

- Irene Latham
...and for something entirely different, I posted yesterday at Smack Dab in the Middle about using a personal mission statement to navigate when to say Yes and when to say NO. I fear the only personal mission statement our current presidential candidates ascribe to is "win the election." Sigh.

But. It will be okay, no matter what. This I believe. xo


  1. Clever how 'and con' has been momentarily left dangling. Like it's not just the matched opposite to pro - but also an untruth. Which is sad but very often true of politics. :(

    You reminded me of my snollygoster poem. ( Beware the snollygosters, when going to the polling booth.

  2. I am believing with you, but I will be so glad when it's over. Lots of snollygosters hanging around.I do love your voting poem, though.

  3. There is a magic about stepping inside that voting booth, agreed, Irene. What a time this year has been! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

  4. With all the craziness of this year's election, it's difficult to remember that all this freedom was hard won. Some days I wish our free speech was not quite so free. Thanks for this poetic reminder today. I did vote!

  5. Oh, Irene -your poem is sunshine on this cloudy election season.

  6. Yes. Without a word. Amen to that.

  7. Wonderful statement. Yes, we each have a voice in a vote....that others envy. Well done. I agree with Tara that it's sunshine in this cloudy election.

  8. I love your election poem, especially the clever last lines:

    "your voice is heard
    without a word."

  9. make the best choice.
    In the space between breaths

    This whole process requires some breaths, doesn't it.
    Thank you for sharing

  10. When did politicians come to value the win over one's own integrity and self-esteem? I like your poem. We are all jury members, sifting through the evidence, looking for truth. Then deliberating behind closed doors.

  11. Oh, this is terrific. Such simplicity and depth at the same time. I'll be at NCTE, Irene. Hope our paths cross. When/where/what are you presenting?

    1. Oh, just saw your schedule at your other post on mission statements and decisions (great post--I say no fairly easily now, but it IS time to recraft and redefine my own mission statement to make sure I'm focusing on what matters most--thank you).

  12. Love all the strong verbs you use. It's a poem about action even though the final act is silent in its shout of power.

  13. Well, phooey! THIS is the poem I was looking for on Poetry Friday for 2nd graders! We have voted and voted and voted and discussed and discussed the right and the responsibility, the privilege and the perturbing factors in this central act of democracy--and this poem sums it all up. Perhaps it will still be the moment NEXT Poetry Friday! Thank you so much, Irene! (and for NCTE organizing!)

  14. Yes, yes: "imagine a future;
    make the best choice.
    In the space between breaths"

    Yes. Thank you, dear Irene. Amen.


Your thoughts?