Throughout our childhood,
our immigrant parents modeled in consistent action,
distilled at Ellis Island, their entry point into the United States:
Suffrage is a right. Voting in elections a responsibility.
Not always did my parents comprehend the complexities,
dualities, duplicities of politics.
Yet, always did they understand the spiritual truth, translated into civil responsibility.
I vote, not always enthusiastically, not always comprehensively informed.
I vote, always holding in solidarity those who cannot —
the disfranchised convicted felons,
those state declared mentally incompetent.
I vote because I am given a precious right.
I vote because I want the freedom of suffrage to remain in tact.
Selena Kilmoyer, householder Bread & Roses community