Election signs

The election is over.
As usual, results are mixed –
Some good news
Some bad news
Some signs of hope
Some portents of doom.
However, what I am thinking about today
Are not the winners and losers
But all the campaign signs
That have stood day and night
On every available
Piece of ground
For the past couple of months
Proclaiming the virtues
Of this candidate
And that
In glossy colors
And jazzy graphics.
Those bold, bright rectangles
Have already begun to fade,
Begun to curl at the corners,
Begun to lean and tip over,
And soon volunteers
Will start showing up
To pull them out of the ground
And carry them off
To the dumpsters of history,
Their usefulness
At an end.
Did they enjoy the job?
Did they bask
In the sunny pre-election weather
And the camaraderie
Of all the other signs?
Did they actually care
About the outcome?
Are they pleased to have played
A small role
In the great drama
Of American politics?
Or, as bit players
In this tragicomic democracy,
In which Citizen Capital
Has the only vote that matters,
Are they feeling what the multitudes
Who are deemed expendable
Must always feel —
Worn out, beaten down, used up,
Thrown away?
Buff Whitman-Bradley’s newest book is And What Will We Sing? a collection of protest and social justice poems spanning the last 25 years. He podcasts at thirdactpoems.com and lives with his wife, Cynthia, in northern California. Read other articles by Buff.