How do they do it, the candidates
jetting from city to town, shaking hands,
barking out their big plans? At first,
I am amazed, but then one day
I think how neither one of them
has to wash their clothes,
cook their food, do their dishes;
they are assisted with everything,
even dressing, and a staff of people
help them with the main thing they do:
connect with as many people as possible,
attracting votes to their palpable names.
I wonder if they ever feel nostalgic
for a time when they had chores to do,
or if they can even remember.
Does the rich guy with the wig
look back with fondness
at the military school regime of tasks,
before the tax-free years of golden toilets?
Does the woman who lived in a governor’s mansion
and the White House ever crave taking steel wool
to a pan of seared beef? I used to have to carry
my clothes to a laundromat; I don’t ever
get warm, fuzzy feelings for that,
and I wouldn’t just do it for fun of a feeling
of authenticity. Of course, anyone seeking
public office is someone of great energy
and persistence. Some of them are even
smart and good. I just think it gets easy
to see them at one lectern after another
and think to yourself, “I am lazy
compared to this being.” In this ugly election year,
let me remind you of all your amazingness,
you who have no one to pick up your clothes,
cut your grass, make your food. If we gave
each of them our longest day of the week,
I think they’d learn a thing or two.
We could trade roles, go on the trail
and say what we think about the state of the world.
It would be annoying to be in the public eye,
and they would probably be bored
with our mundane privacies. For instance,
here we've gone all day without our puppy
peeing on the floor, and that’s a lasting victory.