Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Being There

I try to be unmoved and cynical
about the promises of politicians
and realistic about change. We've been sold
a bill of goods before. But still
I wish I'd been there.

I wish I'd stood out all night in the cold
clutching hope and waving tiny flags
elbow to elbow with Tuskegee veterans
and fresh-faced twenty-something kids.
I wish I'd been there

with the ghosts of Malcom X and Reverend King
with the thousands who packed the Mall
from edge to teeming edge.

I cried when Aretha sang.
I cried when they played "Simple Gifts". I cried
when he took the oath of office—you know
I feel like I was there.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

6 comments:

Mo said...

A wonderful tribute, to the moment and to your emotions of the moment.
I felt like I was there, too - even though I watched it on my computer!
(At least I was warm!)

Thanks for sharing your lovely words with us,
mo

Matt said...

I'm anti-political (as far as I don't like politicians), and I instinctively avoid crowds.

Nevertheless, this was a lovely poem. Thank you.

Fledgling Poet said...

I do envy the people who saw it in person, but the introvert that I am would not have tolerated those crowds well! lol...but I was honored and moved to watch it on TV. You captured the feeling so well...

Tumblewords: said...

I, too, felt like I was there without the stress but it would have been wonderful to be elbow to elbow, hand to hand and eye to eye with so much relief, compassion, hope and wonder. Lovely poetry, as always.

gel(Emerald Eyes) said...

Your poem captured feelings I also feel, plus for other reasons.
Well-said!

cyclopseven said...

Can we change, what God has placed amidst us? Never. Good piece.