By Avery Gregurich

We went last night to stand and
be counted at the high school
gymnasium. THIS IS TIGER
COUNTRY the gym
wall said.

Splitting up into every direction,
where campaign signs were hung
we were sure of ourselves. Nobody
screamed, somebody even
spoke Spanish.

Down the hall, in the auditorium
our neighbors were
casting ballots and shaking
their heads as they walked by
our window.

We wrote our names and
addresses on paper cards, proof
that we too belonged. We borrowed
each others’ pens as none
were provided.

Our votes were funneled through
a phone on a folding table that
sometimes sells concessions.
We didn’t even know when we
could leave.

Walking home, arm in arm,
we were silent, new blood in a town
that looked like the memory of
our hometowns, not so very far
behind us.

There was an omen the day
before, when the cat brought
a rabbit to our back door. He
had decided to leave the heart out by
the garage.

We woke up from train nightmares,
no closer to knowing where we stood
than when we started. Here in Tiger Country
more darkness, not a shared bird
between us. ■



Avery Gregurich is a writer living and working in Marengo, Iowa. He was raised next to the Mississippi River, and has never strayed far from it.

Cover image by Phil Roeder via Flickr (Creative Commons).

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