2016, Guest Post, Hillary Clinton — November 13, 2016 at 10:08 am

GUEST POST: Callie McKee’s poem “I’m with HER” and a disturbing lack of Hillary


The following poem was performed by Callie McKee at the HERsay performance art show this past week in Ann Arbor. Callie is an Ann Arbor-area theatre artist, writer, storyteller, performance poet, and fierce feminist. She is the Director of the University of Michigan educational theatre company (UMetc), where she designs programming around bystander intervention, mental health, working in diverse teams, and other college transition issues. She teaches workshops on facilitation and public speaking using theatre techniques and has also worked creating theatre with Eastern Michigan University, The Neutral Zone, and Ann Arbor Public Schools.


I’m with HER

By Callie McKee

I woke up this morning and was faced with a disturbing lack of Hillary
She had been there the night before, for years before
Magnets, buttons, shirts, pictures, framed and cut out, articles, greeting cards…
Hand Drawn, Glossy Paper, Modge Podged and Cross-stitched
She had been stuck to our fridge, mouth open, ready to help me get into my Corona with Lime
Her profile, carved into the skin of a gourd coarse yet gooey, orange and decidedly NOT orange…
Her profile glowed against the dark and greeted Trick or Treaters
She was staked firmly on the tiny sliver of grass between front gate and sidewalk
Straddling the corner proudly even as the binding weeds and the creepy charlies tried to overcome her, crawl up her stakes, grab her
Still she stood Unwavering even as rain pounded her
Children absorbed in play, clipped and then carefully re-planted her

Dogs stopped, sniffed and scrutinized, peed and left a scent for other dogs to follow
A Lack of Hillary.
She was missing — the badge on my coat, fueling my business walk, a bullet stopper, a symbol of enforcement, (breath and shine), beacon, an S on my chest
A lack of Hillary
Where She wrapped herself around the back tube on my bicycle — she and I swerving around potholes, uneven landscapes, around a distracted public
She and I taking the path with the hills
Bearing down pushing and pulling as wind and gravity and exhaustion tried to keep us from shattering through.
Remembering that it is not enough to just be a passenger, we also have to be the engine if we want to make it to the top
Remembering to trust the cycles
She and I existing and surviving on a road where we are welcome but whose rules are made by for and about cars. Where cars (no matter how gas guzzling, inefficient or broken) will always win in a contest against us
They will always win, but they will make you fat, and clog the air
This morning, there was a lack of Hillary on my backpack (where she guarded my adventures, books, cameras, multi-tools)
Where she stood watch over my journals — thoughts — dreams, hopes, agendas-gay and otherwise… Vagendas, too.
Hillary was missing from our walls-encircled in silver wood and looking over our family-born and chosen, our community, watching over our wedding.
Watching over our wedding — that day when we thanked RBG, we thanked Kennedy, April and Jayne and Mary and Jim and Barack and Michelle — where we exhaled because she was there on the wall-the matriarch of the family
Taking care of it
Of us

This morning she was gone, the yellow of the wall slightly brighter from where she had taken the dirt, the dust, the inexplicable bits of red wine and squished bugs —
there this morning was a vulnerable spot — nail in hole — put someone else there and we would still see her outline
Faded paint around outlines of Bella Abzug, Geraldine Ferraro, Shirley Chisholm, too
There was a distinct lack of Hillary on the Fridge where she at once fed us and kept us hungry
Where she held both the remedy for an upset stomach and the spice that lit our belly fires
Where she preserved the real stuff, local stuffs, fresh stuffs, true stuffs. Stuffs that you can hold and smell the earth
Stuff from family recipes from all over, that is bold in its flavors
Not the stuffs packed with artificial ingredients and un-natural coloring — the stuffs that are more accessible but of lesser quality, that does not come from or care about the earth, gas station stuffs — bland and toxic but in shiny, excessive packaging
the stuff they give poor people while blaming them for being fat.
Hillary’s gone from the booze fridge too
No Hillary in my dresser drawers
Where she will wear white after labor day if she wants to because what the hell kind of “rule” is that and who the hell are you and did you ask that guy “who” he was wearing
It IS getting colder though — forecast tries to tell us it isn’t pantsuit weather anymore
Better pair it with some ass kickin boots
And a leather jacket
Warm hat — Hillary doesn’t need to worry about hat hair anymore…wherever she is
There is a lack of Hillary this morning because I gathered her up last night
I took Hillary away from all the places she stood and watched and protected and inspired and fought
And brought her to a gathering of women, poised to celebrate
I put all of her out on display because I thought I didn’t need to have her in my house
When she was going to be in THE house. ALL OUR house
She was going to make a HOME for those who felt like residents but not family
I gathered up Hillary in the same vessel we piled eggs and sweet potatoes in at the market
I put all of my Hillary’s in one basket

270 came and went and Hillary I thought I could just take her home, put her back, and in the morning she would
Be there.

At the end of the night, we forgot her in the backseat
She’s been riding there ever since
She’s holding the map
Catching up on her Netflix
Resting her head against the window as the world rolls by
Occasionally leaning forward
Expressing excitement about our journey
And reminding us, what good drivers we are.

Photos by Anne C. Savage