I am cautiously hopeful and optimistic about the Obama administration. It is a relief to have a thoughtful, curious, intelligent, well-spoken person at the head of the nation. And, like many, I am amazed that a country with our history of racism, has elected an African American president. That, alone, gives me considerable hope. From what I've been reading online, many people now have the sense that the government might again be relevant to their lives.  Eight years ago some people liked to talk about how George W. Bush was "the kind of guy you'd like to have a beer with." I never saw it myself -- the man has always struck me as a self-involved, spiteful, spoiled adolescent. Obama and his family, on the other hand, strike me as the sort of people I'd like to have in my neighborhood -- ordinary folk with admirable character. And, today at least, the country has the feel of a neighborhood.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

2 thoughts on “Today”


    And there’s Sidney Poitier on the bulldozer
    or carrying in a box of groceries or angry

    at a white woman ‘I’m through feeling small’
    ‘you get yourself another boy’

    in the sense that not to be someone’s ‘boy’
    is the true pivot of American sublimity

    exceptionalistically speaking
    so when I look at Obama (and who today

    isn’t?) I see Sidney’s traveling architect
    Homer Smith again in ancient 1963

    the modern fairy tale beginning wherein
    color is never referenced as a problem

    and that last shot of him
    driving away proud free and smiling.

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