We stand by the school gate, pasted around with framed faces. She is talkative. He is European. And the other one is mostly silent, somewhat of a black sheep. I feel like a black sheep too, not even daring to hope for happiness. I lean against the fence, my aching hips and the how-to-vote cards in my hand.
“Where do I find a democracy sausage?” asks one person. But it’s too late for those. “They’re all eaten” says the European, his white hair gesturing to the sky. I look up to the early moon, the opaque mask of it, swaddling a few inches of the waning blue. I can almost hear its mirth. “Democracy sausages!” it seems to say. “Eaten away! Nom, nom.”
Voters dribble by… hobble… march. Here, with our colourful sheafs of tomorrow’s rubbish, we see them all with their prams and dogs, sadnesses and beauties. We recognise stars or daggers in their eyes and we cheerfully bid them “have a lovely afternoon”. And when they’re gone, we converse very carefully and cheerfully, knowing that the spaces between us are far wider than the footpath or the corflutes or the pretty autumn evening.
across the nation anonymous people with pencil & paper the sky turns to teal
Written for Go Dog Go Cafe’s Wednesday Haibun
NB: In the lead up to today’s Federal election in Australia, there has been a huge groundswell pushing for Independents to represent communities instead of the kind of white-wash effect of party politics. A group of these Independents have come to be known as “the Teals” because of the colour of their marketing.