A bill becomes a law through a process not unlike wet clay curing in the sun, seasonal labor filling the fields in springtime, a drop of sweat absorbed thirstily into a towel, a stain spreading across a tablecloth.
A bill becomes a law eventually, but often, not in time. A bill often fails on the floor, as do some people, as does, just as often,
the attempt to revive them. The attempt looks an awful lot
like a senator's face, energetic and gray and doomed and
looking for any advantage
when the needed advantage is in the ether
and still immaterial until the tenth of February.
I notice the bumper stickers, and I've deputized a Google Alert
to tell me that the popular mass is wakening.
I can also tell when it yawns,
or prods a rib for a pain that wasn't there yesterday.
I can tell when the popular mass has slept funny.
I can tell when it would rather not wake up at all
but the light is streaming in through the window
and the house is full of the sound of the dishwasher.
Pain on both sides, in both ribs, ignored
because sometimes it just happens - pain,
that is - and is a part of getting older,
like how you can't put peppers in your chili anymore
now that they don't grow on this side of the planet,
and there's nobody left to tend them.
I would like somebody to tend me, too,
but the law that sanctions that workforce
is still in committee, and mired in a dispute
about who deserves love.
This one goes out to all of those lying on their kitchen floor
once everyone is out of the house, lifting their legs and placing them on the countertop, listening to their heart ticking
and trying to discover if it reaches everywhere, if they can hear it
in their ankles.
This one goes out to their savings accounts and their kneecaps.
Here's hoping they make it.