That Land is Mine Too
My father sealed the envelope and scrutinized it, making sure he completed all of the necessary steps. I waited impatiently, wanting him to finish
I shivered. This was it.
He smiled, handed me the envelope, and led me out the door. The air was sweet, refreshingly cold, holding its breath.
We turned the corner, and there it stood. The mailbox staring at us with intensity, its sublime figure outlined by the streetlight. I laughed in my head. It was like we were supposed to bow down to it.
My father and I spoke just a few words. As we walked further, something silenced us. Something so much bigger than ourselves, something that stifled any talk about trivial matters.
I held his ballot tightly. It was just us outside, but I gripped it so that no one could take it away.
The ballot was thumping in my hand, the heartbeat of democracy. It echoed through both of us, beating a sacred drum.
It was dark out. The night cloaked everything with its black robe, everything except for the sidewalk in front of us. The path to the mailbox was clear, illuminated by a different kind of light.
A flame that no one could put out. A flame that had burned for centuries, that had given warmth to the masses who marched for freedom.
I looked at the ballot. How much blood was spilled so that it could be there in my hand?
The dichotomy of democracy
Gave me a visceral sensation.
It burned with pride
It burned with embarrassment
It swelled with sacrifice,
It surrendered to souls of cowardice
A deep, personal conflict between humanity
The blood we share. Our burden and our relief.
The blood we sacrifice
The blood we are responsible for
A reality and a dream.
We neared the mailbox. My father nodded towards it. “Slip it in.
I carefully pushed the ballot into the box, watching it disappear forever.
There was a bridge behind us—
There was a hill in front of us—
I looked at my feet. We were walking on a bloody, scarred, chained, beaten, divided, wicked land
And I have never been more proud
Than to have walked to the mailbox,
Slipped in his ballot,
“That land is mine too”.
Editors: Charlotte C, Chris F, Leandra S, Nadine R
Photo Credit: Unsplash