Wednesday, February 06, 2008

When I entered the elementary school where I usually vote, I was not aware of it.When I signed the card you sign to verify you are voting, I did not feel it.When the poll workers checked my i.d., I did not sense it.
But once I inserted the card, and the process began--of seeing, for the first time:
For the Office of the President of the United States:
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Barack Obama
I felt my breath catch in my throat.I found myself running my fingers over the letters of a name--not the name of the person I so want to be President of the United States, not the man I am campaigning for--I found myself tracing circles over the letters of her name.A woman's name, for the first time--ever--in a place where I'd never seen--or imagined, really--seeing such a name:a primary to decide the nominee for President.
I could feel myself beginning to tear up.Why? Was I tearing up because I suddenly understood the ENORMITY of this--a woman on the ballot?
I ran my fingers over Barack Obama's name, and remembered, quietly, asking my Mom about MLK when I was very young.
It was the enormity of all of it.
I could not seem to select one, though I certainly believe with all my heart Senator Barack Obama can bring about sorely needed change, and has the vision and will to do that.But still.I looked at her name. A woman's name.And I held my tears.And then I voted for my person.
And when I was about to leave, and placed the obligatory, proud Georgia-peach "I Voted" sticker on my shirt, I whispered to the woman working at the exit, "May I tell you who I voted for?"
"No", she said, and then, seeing I desperately wanted to be proud of my vote, that I wanted to share it with someone, she said quietly, "But you can go outside, and tell someone." And she smiled.
Hansoo was waiting for me.
"What took you so long? It's not like you didn't know who you were going to vote for."
"Well," I began, "I got choked up."
"What?" he asked.
"I just saw Hillary Rodham Clinton's name, and it hit me that there's a WOMAN running for the Presidency of the United States."
"Yes, Lisa," he said with a kind smile.
"Hansoo, I voted for Barack Obama. He's got the vision, I want him to win, and I think he can win in November, against McCain, or whoever."
I was nearly in tears.
"I know.I know." he said softly.


Poet with a Day Job said...

I never thought it would be possible in my lifetime - but man, what a ballot indeed - BOTH candidates. This is a nail biter!

Collin said...

I voted for Obama, but I'll take Hillary. You know me. Just get the crazy Republican out of office.

Lisa Allender said...

Thanks, kids...
PWADJ:I definitely am on the edge of my seat!
I surely hope they'll consider becoming a team.It will save a lot of sanity. And any hurt feelings, too, plus it'd be a ticket that could win in a huge way!
Coll:I am sooo with you. I was a card-carrying Libertarian(fiscally conservative;social-issue-liberal), but I identify and agree with the Dems on nearly EVERYthing, and I become more left-leaning, every single day!

Collin said...

I love how the Republicans are tearing themselves apart right now. McCain and Huckabee being perceived as "too liberal" is hilarious. On CNN tonight, there was a report that some Republicans might commit party suicide and vote for Hillary or Obama out of spite. HA!

DeadMule said...

Hi Lisa, I found you from Collin's blog. (I published some of his poems in the Dead Mule.) What a touching blog entry. Our primary's in May in NC, but my son says John Edwards has put himself into position to to be the VP candidate for either Hillary or Obama. Yes, I'm a Democrat and could go with either of those tickets, also.
Helen Losse

I always come up as Deadmule because my Google account is for the Mule as Poetry Editor.

Lisa Allender said...

To Helen L.:
Hi there, thank you for stopping in!
I totally agree with your son.In fact, I believe it's WHY he(Edwards) has not endorsed either Hillary or Barack.I loved Edwards, and hoped it would be an Edwards/Obama or Obama/Edwards
(I felt this combination--Edward's pragmatism and bite, combined with Obama's vision, and smile--could easily beat ANY Republican) ticket only a short time ago...
these days, I'm thinking if Barack wins, he can choose ANYone.But Hillary kinda "needs" Barack, I think.
Or, all THREE(Barack, Hillary, John Edwards)could work together(as Prez, VP, and cabinet-member)
And thank you for your compliment on my blog entry.