The desks are pulled away from the wall and the chipped paint is revealed,
Black scuff marks where someone’s sensible, black work heels rubbed day after day.
And scraps of paper underneath where the hole-puncher resided, socializing memos and statements
That they might join their friends in the 3-ring binders.
Wounded soldiers line the hallways: DO NOT SIT, TO CANNON 317, NEEDS NEW WHEEL
People passing by allow themselves to pity the furniture, but it is not the furniture they pity.
The blue paint is faded in a lonely rectangle behind where hands shook and smiles gleamed.
That they might grace another office soon enough.
These are the fallen soldiers of Congress: the moderate, the progressive, the caucused.
They shuffle quietly out, back to the district that rejected them with 48% of the vote.
They leave behind dusty ledges and circle pins and dreams of a better view, a chairmanship
That they might return, a big fish, to their small pond.
Fresh, unweathered faces and starched shirts, the cubs replace the lions,
With zest for legislating and a hearty respect for the Process, they invade
Offices shining with new paint and Lysoled desks. They polish their unworn shoes
That they might slowly scuff the walls and halls of Congress.