Georgia primary election, June 9, 2020

This Georgia peach has a rotten past

in laws that set up literacy tests and poll taxes

and leaders that planted fear to stop blacks from voting.

In the shade and steps of Lincoln,

a young MLK called out “give us the ballot.”

yet it would take years and the scourge of Selma

to move a President to enact

more security for voting.

And then after decades in restraint,

the wolves again on the prowl,

the Supreme Court lamely claimed

“our country has changed.”

For the primary, we saw brown and white people

roasted for hours on the grill lines

resolved to have their say in voting.

The new poll taxes — losing a day’s pay

to join the fray in line.

The new literacy test — how to not screw up

a confusing mail-in ballot.

A harvest of rotten peaches

left behind by wolves.

Gutterman says she “reveres poetry for the way it lifts up the everyday with its chants and slants, especially during the constraints of the pandemic.” She is a founding board member of the West Windsor Arts Council and is working on her first poetry book.