Friday, November 7, 2008

Lindsay & Obama

She stands in the kitchen
With her left foot pirouetted,
Raised and touching the knee
Of her supporting leg,

As she talks about her paper
On the Seneca Falls Convention,
Focusing on the tensions
Between blacks and women

That caused a deep rift
Between the leaders of
The connected but distinct
Movements of liberation.

Her eyes alight at the voicing
Of his name — Obama —
Though her mother had been
More a Hillary supporter,

As the conversation moves
Inexorably into the realm of
The politics of race and gender,
Of history-in-the-making, etc.,

And even as she articulates
Her positions on the war,
Health care, and the economy,
I watch the birds circling

Over her shoulder in the sky
Outside the open window —
Why do they move as they do
In those graceful patterns?

Asked my view, I point to
His community organizing,
Stating, “Twelve is the ideal
Number for a body politic.”

Her enthusiasm is effervescent,
She is after all the Senior
Class President, having won a
Scrappy victory over her friend,

The thought occurs to her
That she might one day
Be President, as I think of
Fergus’s abdication.

She pushes me to accept
That progress is being made,
And eloquently professes her
Abiding Hope for Change.

She is my favorite student,
And when she urges me
To express my affiliations
And heartfelt politics,

My eyes wander again to
The freely circling birds,
And the words are stuck
In the back of my throat.