An Image of America

A woman perched atop a ladder is attaching a plastic bat onto the roof of a porch. Across the street from her, just in front of a park, a man in a wheelchair is rolling over to a haggard lady, who is doubled-over at the entrance to a tiny tent. I watch them speaking. He rolls his eyes, shakes his head slowly and says “Man, he’s worse than Bush. I’m sorry he ever got my vote”. He turns his head to a squirrel at his feet: “I’m sorry I’ve no nuts for you, buddy”.

The lady has been holding a vigil against America’s nuclear policy for over twenty years. She lost her husband two years ago. He spent twenty-seven years in the same tent. Today her home-made signs promoting peace are sopping wet and the squirrels sheltering inside her tent keep her company.

The woman descends the ladder. A plastic bat flaps its wings in the breeze: black against the gleaming White House.