Published Humanitas, Volume XVIII, Nos. 1 and 2, 2005

She tapped, three times at my door,

Each time she tapped, I shouted—

“Who is there?”

Each time she paused,

But I dare not reply.

I saw her run through my side window;

I did not open my door,

I would rather let her go.


I recoiled with some horror,

when I saw her again per chance,

smiling wanly at me

as I slid the potatoes into

a bag at the grocery store.

She wore a colorful blue skirt

And a red blouse aglow

With fifty stars in a corner.

She extended her hand in greeting;

My heart froze for a minute,

And then I smiled rather nervously,

Though I forgot to shake her hand,

Or rather, chose not to.


“My name is Democracy.”

I tried to ignore her and moved on.

“I free the hearts of everyone—

You may need me sometime.”

I turned around and stared at her.

“Excuse me?” I shot back at her.

“I work for those in power,”

She spoke quietly after me.”

“And so?” I spoke rather defiantly.

“I live by the good graces of rich folks,”

She smiled with a charm that I now noticed.

“I must work for you now. I need to save you,”

She said with an insistence that rubbed on me.

“I will think about it,” I said as I walked out.


I returned home in deep thought,

I was aghast to see my front door open,

I could not believe my eyes as I went inside—

I saw her quietly sipping wine

on the floor, beside my sofa turned

upside down and everything else in ruins beside.

“Everyone needs me. Why won’t you?”

She said with a crooked smile.