Democracy - Poems

Posted by milica011 on February 9, 2015 at 2:00 PM

If  you are using either of the poems, see below.  If you need additional evidence from "Twelve Angry Men," you WILL need to reference your textbooks.  You will all need to check page numbers for your citations, as well!!  

Democracy, by Langston Hughes 

Democracy will not come

Today, this year

Nor ever

Through compromise and fear.


I have as much right

As the other fellow has

To stand

On my two feet

And own the land.


I tire so of hearing people say,

Let things take their course.

Tomorrow is another day.

I do not need my freedom when I'm dead.

I cannot live on tomorrow's bread.



Is a strong seed


In a great need.


I live here, too.

I want freedom

Just as you.

Democracy, by Sara Holbrook 


My office is government issue.

The basics, one metal desk, one chair,

a stack of folders,

four rubber stamps and loose paper in need of baling wire, or a match...

A gray office beside a multicolored room full of folks waiting on

government basics.




A large woman thumps, thumps.

Thumps past my office.

Thump. Thump,

down the hall to the ladies room.

Sounds of water running followed by

the swing of the squeaky door,

it slaps against the wall

oozing toward a bumpy close.

Thump. Thump.

I look up as she passes again.

Dark hallway.

Dark clothing.

White toilet paper.

Thump. Thump.

I watch after her passing.

Thump. Thump.

She stole the toilet paper.

Also government issue,

two rolls per day.


Issued by

the same government that

murders mountains of forests for the

confusion of paper it takes to

purchase a pencil through

proper procurement procedures.

The same government that

offers tax abated housing to

for profit football teams and

levies income tax on where's-the-profit

unemployment compensation.

The same government that

issues food stamps for

koolaid, popsicles and tater tots

but not for toilet paper,

like it's some privilege

that poor folks don't need.

That same government issues us

two rolls per day,

Two rolls.


I rub at the crow's feet which are deepening into my mother's face

and listen to her leaving.


She stole the toilet paper.

I wait for a moment, reluctant to go

once more against the mountain,

knowing the thin air

makes me lightheaded.

Finally I move.


"Ma'am, did you take our toilet paper?"

She looks straight ahead,

She is slow to acknowledge my presence,

slow looking up at the self-conscious stand

I have taken beside her over-filled chair.

In a glance

she reminds me that I am too tall,

too thin, too well-dressed,

and too white.


"I need it," she replies.

And that need, I know,

is not entirely selfish,

that need embraces the needs

of her children,

her grandchildren,

maybe a neighbor.

But it does not embrace the needs

of her neighbors with whom

she shares this waiting room.

"I have to ask for it back," I say,

citing the needs of the others.

Reluctant herself,

she complies.


Practically speaking,

she is a republican.

I retreat to return the basics

to the necessary place,

dizzy with


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