This is my country,
Yes, my country.
This is my home
And I vote because
I love my country.

The seasons when God’s trees
were repurposed for lynching
and Lady Day sang of the strange fruit
that hung from the tree branches
I remained here, because this is my country.

Even during the times when black,
brown, red and yellow townships
were burned to the ground by cowards
who foolishly thought they could hide
under white robes with white pointed hoods
hoping God would not know their names.

You see, this is my county.
I vote because I believe
it is an expression of faith and hope.
We voted even when white parents
tried to intimidate our children,
black children, from entering
elementary schools, unaware
these black children were to be
the real teachers!

The Civil Rights Movement
demonstrated our love, a real love
and our willingness and ability
to love unconditionally, to live as people
who truly understand what it is
to love their country, hate be damned.

You see, this is my country.
I love my country.
My vote is how I express my love
for this place I call home.
My vote is an act of faith
that justice is real
and my voice will be heard.


Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. JC prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers. A lot. Her column appears weekly on Oddball Magazine.