|Barack Obama takes the oath of office |
administered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.
at the Capitol, January 20, 2009
Oh, South Africa, how could we guess you would beat us to it? And with a man who, straight from political imprisonment, established whole community reconciliation?
Barak Obama, brave and beautiful man, you brought vision of a renewed democracy from the day you entered the race to the day you left the turtles crawling in your dust.
Full engagement with the people’s representatives moved government slower, but it renewed constitutionality as our Preamble affirms “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice … "
I was proud to vote for you, to hear intelligence in your every word, to see you listening—what joy!—to hear you insist on discussion and debate, my hero. You are a citizen of your country and this showed in every move you made. It still does.
You and I did not anticipate the venom in the slogging turtles that edged forward to surround you, did not anticipate stalling as the warm up to barricading every path you opened toward equality in health care, employment opportunity and wages, peace and environmental safety.
Each barrier became a thicket of brambles so deadly that you traded education for a sharper sword, still believing in compromise, but selling our future. Wounded and broken hearted, I still follow in your slogan “Yes I can,” still applaud your spirit, but sadly.
I stand with you bewildered by the traitors to democracy who make a mockery of a Constitution that bends under their lies. I look beyond you at what will become a new condemnation of Black leadership, all history to the contrary.
Broken-hearted as I am, I hold you higher than the racist “No, you cannot” that continues to break the back of the American public so some can gain while others pay. I celebrate you, your belief in Democracy and in our Constitution, your family and values.
Do not disappear, my hero. Barak Obama, I look for you to continue to expose the turtles and their venom, I look for you to inspire other Black and White and American ethnic leaders.
Do not disappear along with all the hope you raised.
Posted for my prompt Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Leaders/Leadership at Poets United.
Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast