..... poetry .....



"Middle Management"
at the Oval Office

Sure, we're 
    Mad As Hell And Not Going To Take It Anymore!
And we've got plenty to be mad about.
After all, we're Americans and that's 
    part of our DNA.

But really, 
    we want to be seduced
                               < juiced >
By the promise that someone    
                                 < one >
will take care of everything,                  
                               < thing >
By a person who suspends our anger
    long enough for us to feel hope.
                               < hope >
To fulfill our vision of 
    fairness, opportunity, and community.  
                               < unity >

And with any seduction,
    we felt this little twinge.
The Little Voice that said,
    "Is this really real?" 

Some of us spoke to this little twinge during the campaign 
    as we listened to your more liberal
    (and white) competitors.
Though our history, 
    and the specter of you as a role model,
    created an uneasy guilt.

    - lifetime benefits
    - ever-enlarging sphere of influence  
    - at-will hiring and firing privileges 
    - final validation of one's life story

You probably had your first meeting with 
    The Task Force
    the night after the Convention,
Alone no, doubt.
Even after 6 million votes 'disappeared'
    and they couldn't stem the tide,
    they weren't too concerned.
They'd done this dance so many times before...

The day after the Inaugural (grand party), 
    they laid it all out.
Your wife, there for that meeting,
    was amused at the colored map they gave you, 
    showing how far you could go in each zone.
You were accepting, yet undeterred
    as you spoke to her:
"Great Leadership is honed in the face of
    Great Limitation."

    - charismatic speaker
    - no visible skeletons
    - aptitude for ruthlessness
    - capacity for kindness

So, here we are                
             < we >
one year in                  
           < hear >
and that little twinge     
            < itch >
is getting louder           
       < LOUDER >
each day.                    
            < day > 

This echo we hear is not a phantom,
    but a trip down 
    Memory Lane.

    - Holding Ho$ni For Decades
    - Hate Diplomacy To Haiti
    - The Endless Stand In Afghanistan 
    - Ranting At Tehran 
    - Banker Bonus Bailouts
    - Healthcare Fox In The Coop
    - Mountaintop Mining
    - Lethal Persuasion
    - Faux Financial Reform

    - Unchecked Contractors
 Sanctioned Child Soldiers

    - Dollars For Deportation
    - Deadly Drones
    - Deportation and Debauchery
    - Seaworld Sonic Destruction
    - Fast & Furious

Now the twinge has turned out to be 
    the oddest of sensations:
Defending you against The Right.  
Like defending the police when they only kill
    19 per year 
    versus 35.

Maybe if you were a War Hero
    and a (more) public liar
Our expectations wouldn't be so,
    so elevated.
Somehow seeing all of those stripes 
    would remind us more vividly about your 
    Middle Management position.  

We're not expecting a miracle the first year,
    or even the first term.
Some real change has come from those in your position
    who were far less likely to break the mold.

We just want to Keep Hope Alive...

December 2009


©2010, Michael Smolens