Poem Hunter
Poems
The Petition (Revision)
(1948 / OVER 400 POEMS SERVED! !)

The Petition (Revision)

The Petition
The political guy accosted me
at the entrance to the BART.
'Are you a registered California voter? '
I had to admit I was.
Bright and cheery: 'I've got three petitions
for you to sign—for clean water, clean air,
and education.' My guard went up.
It always goes up.

I glanced at the petition,
saw the phrase 'cigarette tax'.
I'd heard a radio show
about its pros and cons—
some educated people believe
it will take money away
from education, because people
will quit smoking,
rather than pay so much.

To his standard pitch,
I gave my standard response:
'Oh, that's the cigarette tax.
I don't know...'

'That's the one for education! '
he patiently explained,
but his patience
was fading a little.

'I'm not gonna sign today,
but can you tell me
the proposition numbers,
so I can do some research? '

'Just forget it! ' he said,
withdrawing the petition
along with any pretense
of patience, so I couldn't sign it
even if I had a sudden
change of heart, and couldn't
even see the numbers.

'OK, ' I said, descending
into the escalator,
and I was the cheery one now.

Max Reif

User Rating: 5,0 / 5 ( 1 votes ) 2

Comments (2)

Tai Chi Italy also had a comment on the earlier version of this, but I lost it. It made her laugh, was her main point.
Well, you caught him out good and proper, speaker (is the 'I' you, Maxy?) . Good on you! Have a 10 for your sharpness, monsieur Reif. Smiling at you, Gina.