Like Barrels of Hay

We are grouped together like barrels of hay. There is sweat and anxiety in the air, rolling down backs and shaking beneath skin. A girl tries to stretch her arms but they are pinned at the side. She turns to me, asks, “What are we doing?” We are participating in democracy, I say. We are […]

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On Rip-able Paper

We are standing in one long, sinuous line that circuits its way through the front lawn of Iowa City High School. Our line is electric; everywhere, ululations: “Bernie!” “Hillary!” The names spark from eager mouths, bleating off tongues that are loose and warm from a workday of usage. Our teeth chatter against the angry February […]

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Innocence or Politics?

I am a nanny and it is bedtime. The bright pink comforter that I am sitting on feels soft beneath my tired legs. It is a new comforter, and all the rage, according to the seven-year-old who hides her head underneath it. Audrey is pretending to be invisible. She always tries to hide at bedtime, […]

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“Observer,” Self-Sticked

“Oh my God! Wow!” Words easy to say, that I learned to hear proffered to me in the USA long before tonight, February 1st, 2016. This evening they suggested I was even more different than usual. Tonight I was a non-voting foreigner attending the first Democrat Caucus of the year, a grown-up alien in a […]

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Three-Ring Caucus

The line stretches down the hall, up the stairs, down another hall, and up more stairs. It is formed of small gangs, clusters of people. They chatter, shout, chant, and pass smartphones glowing with tumblr posts. They eat burritos and calzones, piling the wrappers at the center of their small camps like kindling for a […]

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