The Candidate Who Looks like Me
Whoever is elected will
Decide our fates, for good or ill.
The candidate I vote for must
Prove worthy of this sacred trust,
A trust based on identity:
The candidate must look like me.
No candidate is more malign
Than one whose color isn’t mine,
And just as much I have to dread
The other sex that shares my bed.
The other is my enemy;
My candidate shall look like me.
A government of clones, I think,
Would right this country in a blink.
Until then, I must do my best
To act in my own interest.
On voting day, my choice will be
The candidate who looks like me.
Surgeon and scrivener both
Do answer to an oath.
Harm no patient, vowed the one;
Bore no reader, is the other’s troth.
Robert Laughlin lives in Chico, California. Two of his short stories are Million Writers Award Notable Stories, and his novel, Vow of Silence, was favorably reviewed by Publishers Weekly. His website is at www.pw.org/content/robert_laughlin.