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#NaPoWriMo 29: Fragrances

At the corner of the house
a lilac bush stood
filling the spring evenings
of childhood
with sweet smelling
memories.

These memories
came flooding back
as I walked down the street
and the smell of mulch
echoed the smell
of what?

A freshly sharpened pencil?
The fairground
where the lumberjacks roundup
had just ended?
The carefully tended gardens
on the college campus?

When all of a sudden
another olfactory memory –
where was it from?
I looked around for a clue
I search my mind for recollections

It was the perfume
that one of my grammar school teachers
wore
when we had big tests.

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#NaPoWriMo 28: The Tyranny of Time

It is after my bedtime
as I get in one last phone call
on my drive home
from the meeting I did make it to.

After a quick bite
as I sit down to write
having missed my reading time
I see an update
about one of the meetings I missed
and wonder
how a different meeting went.

I look at the schedule
of back to back meetings
tomorrow
and look forward
to a day of rest
afterwards.

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#NaPoWriMo 27: All That Remains Unspoken

He couldn’t find the words
to speak about his illness
or find the right people
to say them to.

She couldn’t find a way
to express
how upset she was
or people
she trusted
would understand.

He gazed out the window,
his concerns remained
unspoken
and others didn’t seem
to notice
or care.

There are no words
to express
the struggle
of getting up each day
she thought to herself.

Bob had plenty of words
to tell his stories
over coffee
in the basement
of a local church,
but only used
his first name.

Her confusion grew
every morning
when the new nurse
took her
into a new room
that she couldn’t remember
having been in
yesterday.

A small flower
struggled up
from the cracks in the concrete
as the hurried man
stopped to notice.

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#NaPoWriMo 26: The Words of the Poets

The words of the poets pour down
like the spring rain
holding the promise of summer warmth
but still cold,
cutting to the bone.

They pool up in puddles beside the road
or wait in looming black clouds.

Summer will come soon enough
when there is time for poetry
pouring over us
like the waterfall in the forest
or the waves
pounding the beaches.

Until then
we wear our slickers
and step over puddles
as wait for more time
and warmer days.

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Why We Vote

Four years ago, I ran for State Representative. My campaign was a long shot, and while I ran a vigorous campaign, it was relatively low key. Nonetheless, it was hard work. A few days before the election, Super Storm Sandy hit. My mother died in a car accident during that storm and I tried to deal with my grief as I finished my campaign. Many friends supported me during this time. I worked the crowds at events around the district and thanked everyone for their support.

Two years later, I ran again. I ran a more vigorous campaign. At the big Sunday campaign brunch before election day, we found that a couple candidates had just had close family members die. It triggered memories of two years earlier, and when it was my turn to speak, I set aside my prepared words and spoke about why we vote.

I started off by offering condolences to those whose family members had died. I said that one of the ways we show that we care for the person who died and their family and friends who remain, is by going to wakes, to funerals, by showing up and showing our support. I said that elections are like that. It is how we show that we care for our community, our state, and our country. My passionate call to get out and vote was well received.

All of this comes to mind this morning, as we prepare for the Presidential primary here in Connecticut. All of this came flashing back, crashing back, as I read the news this morning. Aspiring campaign volunteer killed ‘execution style’ moments after meeting Pa. candidate “Alex Cherry chatted with Chris Rabb, a Democratic candidate for a seat in the Pennsylvania State House, on Sunday…”

Chris? I met him in politics years ago, and we remain friends on Facebook. Brilliant. Compassionate. The sort of leader we need more people like. I quickly went to his Facebook page, where he wrote, “I am physically okay.

Thank you for your concern and expressions of support for me and my campaign workers who experienced this horrific event.”

This is why we vote. To show that we care. Chris cares enough about his community to take on the grueling task of running for office. He is working to address causes of violence in our communities.

As candidates, we work very hard to spread the word about how we can all work together to make our communities better places, safer places. Please, don’t say your vote doesn’t matter. It does. It matters a lot more than you imagine. It matters to me. It matters to Chris. It matters to friends and supporters.

Please, get out and vote! Get your friends to get out and vote. It is how we show we care.