On summer barbecue nights, family nights
when the grandfather raised his voice
called damnation, was he saying damn nation?
That was something I wondered while chasing
fireflies on steamy green lawns. We were all
angry about politics, a crooked President
reckless, a good man who would lose, they said so.
So even while trapping glowworms in jars,
being the kid who dropped the jar, sliced her foot,
I tasted it: hating one politician, loving another
was my way, gleaming certainty would be
my life. But what was he saying.
Alexis Quinlan is a poet, travel writer and teacher, lately at Fordham University in The Bronx. For over a decade, her work has appeared in The Paris Review, Drunken Boat and others. More recent poems are in Rhino, Tinderbox, Juked and Madison Review.