The Mad Moderate
delivered our Lloyd Doggett sign
tonight just before supper.
The old orange cat slipped in
for an autumn nap
as our new friend held the front door
open through a long declaration
of exactly Why he was mad
as hell at the Bush Administration.
Said he’d gone to the Travis County
the year Bush was elected.
If I’d been telling it I would have
said the year of the coup d’état —
Mostly I was trying to keep
three large dogs from slipping
out the front door while
The Mad Moderate
continued to explain to Jay,
who is in a mood to vote against
ALL incumbents, that Doggett
voted against the Patriot Act,
against fast tracking Free Trade,
against restricting Habeas Corpus
and was great on the environment
and women’s issues, really everything
except Iraq, and was better this year
The Mad Moderate told us
he’d gotten seven letters
to the editor published.
I said, "Let me shake your hand."
I know Lloyd Doggett
mainly from years of work to
protect Barton Springs.
Right after 911 he came home
and held an impromptu town meeting
at a NOW conference right before
I read a an anti-war poem, thinking
then they would do what they have done.
I’ve phone banked for his campaign
every time he’s run for office save
once, when he lost a local race
by 19 votes.
I complain bitterly when he votes
to fund the war.
He told me I was in the minority,
that he agreed with me, but had to
represent the district.
That's what he used to say.
Lots of us are mad at him about
voting to fund Iraq.
Recently he's backed the Murtha plan,
who looks like my grandfather,
and says we should negotiate with
all stakeholder governments in the
Middle East and re-deploy troops.
When Tom Delay led the re-districting
fiasco that turned Lloyd’s district into
a fajita strip going from north
of Austin to the border splitting the city
and cutting us out of his district I made sure
hundreds of people cast the vote for him
I lost, supported all the Killer-Ds,
I helped write the State Democratic
Platform, and it's a good document,
not that anyone pays much attention
I like Lloyd Doggett.
His father was a dentist about whom people
say when you call them, "He was a good man."
His wife's fluent Spanish helped hold the new
The Mad Moderate
is delivering and installing Democrat
yard signs in our left wing neighborhood.
This guy, who helped Bush get
elected in 2000, is arguing with my
husband who’s mad at everyone
in the Congress, even Lloyd.
But now Jay's going to vote for
Doggett, the dogs didn’t
get out and our front yard looks
like Democrat central, all of which
occurred just as I was serving supper,
because I’d called a friend and
asked for a John Courage yard sign
thinking we were still in his district.
But we got un-gerrymandered
and given back to Lloyd,
so Jay has to vote for one
incumbent after all.
* Art by Jum Nuttle
Click here to identify and support peace candidates in local districts.
©Susan Bright, 2006,
Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.
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