Thursday, April 19, 2012

We the People

"We the People" is one of my own favorite poems in Declaration of Interdependence: Poems for an Election Year because I truly believe in the message, which is: Let kids vote! Here's the poem:

We the People

There's a crazy guy:

Scares kids on our street
kicks old dogs
pours oil down the drain
cusses loud about
hates "wasting money"
on schools

And he has the right to vote.

Then there's me, just fifteen:

I worry about war
watch the 6 o'clock news
raise money for the poor
plant trees in the park

But where's my vote?

I filled out forms
for Grandma, Mom,
and Aunty Lin
to get their ballots

And next month,
come election time,
I won't have a vote, no,
I'll have three:

Aunty Lin
and me--

We are
We the People.

My mother became a U.S. citizen in the 1970s but she has never voted in an election. When we'd ask her to vote, her answer was always, "No--if I vote, I know I'll get called for jury duty." So I stopped asking. Until last week. We were walking past a voter registration display and, out of impulse, I asked if she wanted to vote in November. Shocking me, she answered, "I would love to . . . but I don't know how." Well, that's easily solved: an absentee ballot. Thank goodness I asked!

Let's get kids asking their grandmothers, great-aunts, and neighbors if they need help voting. Wouldn't it be great if absentee ballot (or advance voting) parties became The Next Big Thing during the first week in November!


  1. Fabulous idea. Good for mom - exercising her right to vote. Have you rallied thousands of kids yet? I'll do my part and start with my two daughters!

  2. I registered my mom to vote last week (online)--it was easy! But today is National Register to Vote Day, so I'm going to do another post on this.