Canvassing for the School Levy RSS

Canvassing for the School Levy

29 April, 2015: Canvassing for the School Levy


by Sara Holbrook
Canvassing for the School Levy
These are the front doors
made of steel
that open into throbbing bass apartments
of coffee table filing systems
for wrappers from burgers bought
    four for five bucks,
of wide-eyed kids
leg-clinging scared of
kids who knock on front doors.
Doors opened by parents whose
crossed brows and weak smiles
take the literature hesitantly.
Nothing good never come from
door knocks before.

These are not the front doors
made of steel
that open into foyers of marble tile
and direct eye contact that demands explanations
accompanied by a smoke screen of
lavender, violins, and steak.
Not the doors anointed by well oiled brass knockers.
Not the focal point of brick walks and twin shrubs.
Not the doors that open on down payment gifts
from parents who are downsizing,
of diplomas hanging on walls warmly
illuminated by glowing fires held safely behind glass
reflecting on family rooms floors floored in hard wood.

These are the front doors
opened between shifts of minimum wage.
Doors accustomed to hard knocks
and routine downsizing
that open off of hallways
scented by a stewing of onions,
urine and beer,
littered by broken toys.
These are the front doors
made of steel
opened when the world wants more.

May I have your vote?

“Canvassing for the School Levy” by Sara Holbrook from Cleveland Poetry Scenes. Bottom Dog Press, 2008. Used by permission of the author.

A graduate of Mount Union College, Sara Holbrook has a book of poems titled Chicks Up Front (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 1998) and one of poems and essays titled Isn’t She Ladylike (Collinwood Press, 2002), as well as several collections for children and teens. She has co-authored three professional books with Cleveland poet Michael Salinger, including Outspoken! How to Improve Writing and Speaking Skills through Poetry Performance (Heinemann, 2006).


Revise a poem you have written this month.

Choose one of the poems you have drafted this month and revise it at least one of these ways: break it into stanzas, or make it all one stanza; cut every other line; or add a line between each line.
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READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.