Published Humanitas, Volume XVIII, Nos. 1 and 2, 2005
University of Maryland
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.