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The Last Election

John Haines
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Suppose there are no returns,

and the candidates, one

by one, drop off in the polls,

as the voters turn away,

each to his inner persuasion.


The frontrunners, the dark horses,

begin to look elsewhere,

and even the President admits

he has nothing new to say;

it is best to be silent now.


No more conventions, no donors,

no more hats in the ring;

no ghost-written speeches,

no promises we always knew

were never meant to be kept.


And something like the truth,

or what we knew by that name-

that for which no corporate

sponsor was ever offered-

takes hold in the public mind.


Each subdued and thoughtful

citizen closes his door, turns

off the news. He opens a book,

speaks quietly to his children,

begins to live once more.

Poem courtesy of Many Mountains Moving
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