Thursday, January 22, 2009


OLD
--for Michele and Barack Obama


He has grown into an old man,
Even older than Mandela did who also did
The remarkable thing simply by doing the only

Thing he could do. Be.
His hair is longer now, not fully gray.
It is as though he has stopped time the same way

Anyone who changes the course of history holds a power over time.

He stands tall, still,
Dressed, as always in his best
Because that is what his grand-mother taught him.

He remembers every single one
Of her lessons because she gave them in the
Soft language she knew could shape a man from the inside.

His wife is old now, too, and she
Still holds him to her every word and to his
Word and to the words of the world. She is his weaver

And he is her web. Their love forms
A constellation of stars all the places they walk. It lights the path.
Two presidencies down, they still talk mostly of their daughters who are

Grown and do not recall
A time when either a woman or a person with dark
Skin could not make a home of the White House or any other house

For that matter. The years
Have been good to them. The nation, grateful.
They have served and they continue to serve, traveling.

They always hold hands. They still have
That smile for each other they’ve kept going
Since college. It has been a good life for both of them.

They have lived a long time.

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