If I Was President Poem by Alice Walker

If I Was President

Rating: 3.2


If I was President
The first thing I would do
is call Mumia Abu-Jamal.
No,
if I was president
the first thing I would do
is call Leonard Peltier.
No,
if I was president
the first person I would call
is that rascal
John Trudell.
No,
the first person I'd call
is that other rascal
Dennis Banks.
I would also call
Alice Walker.
I would make a conference call.
And I would say this:
Yo, you troublemakers,
it is time to let all of us
out of prison.
Pack up your things:
Dennis and John,
collect Alice Walker
If you can find her:
In Mendocino, Molokai, Mexico or
Gaza,
& head out to the prisons
where Mumia and Leonard
are waiting for you.
They will be traveling
light.
Mumia used to own a lot
of papers
but they took most of those
away from him.
Leonard
will probably want to drag along
some of his
canvases.
Alice
who may well be
shopping
in New Delhi
will no doubt want to
dress up for the occasion
in a sparkly shalwar kemeez.
My next call is going to be
to the Cubans
all five of them;
so stop worrying.
For now, you're my fish.
I just had this long letter
from Alice and she has begged me
to put an end
to her suffering.
What? she said.
You think these men are the only ones who suffer
when Old Style America locks them up
& throws away
the key?
I can't tell you, she goes on,
the changes
this viciousness
has put me through,
and I have had a child to raise
& classes to teach
& food to buy
and just because
I'm a poet
it doesn't mean
I don't have to
pay the mortgage
or the rent.
Yet all these years,
nearly thirty or something
of them
I have been running around
the country
and the world
trying to arouse justice
for these men.
Tonsillitis
hasn't stopped me.
Migraine,
hasn't stopped me.
Lyme disease
hasn't stopped me.
And why?
Because
knowing the country
that I'm in,
as you are destined to learn
it too,
I know wrong
when I see it.
If that chair you're sitting in
could speak
you would have it moved
to another room.
You would burn it.
So, amigos,
pack your things.
Alice and John and Dennis
are on their way.
They are bringing prayers from Nilak Butler and Bill Wapepah;
they are bringing sweet grass and white sage
from Pine Ridge.
I am the president
at least until the Corporations
purchase the next election,
and this is what I choose
to do
on my first day.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Low Law 21 February 2014

this is not a poem…in fact most of alice waker's 'poems' are not poems. these do not speak to me, nor do they touch me, intrigue me or mean something. to all of you who look at these poems and believe they have some deep and revolutionary meaning, think again. all this stuff it just sounds like political nagging and complaint, and frankly its tiring me. just because she has some sort of an important name does not make her every product a piece of art. wake up people! think for yourselves for a moment, if i told you that her poems were made by a five year old you would not take it seriously right? so why act as if these are master pieces? ? they're not! i like poems, i love it when they are smart, rhyme, cute, or sad, painful, depressing or even modern poems i don't mind, but this… this is ridiculous.

8 10 Reply
Hebert Logerie Sr. 03 February 2019

Low Law, This is a very interesting comment. I understand. Remember when you have a name, anything that you write is a masterpiece, even if it does not merit it. Michael Jackson, Robert Frost Kanye West, Trump and many other famous celebrities can be used as examples. I understand. Unfortunately, this is how it is.

0 0 Reply
Manonton Dalan 25 January 2016

hehehehe..... corporations purchase the next election then it would be who then? ? ?

2 0 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 03 February 2019

A very good poem-.-. wishes expressed in a fine way. tony

0 0 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 03 February 2019

Out Of Prison! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

0 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 14 February 2019

Dear Alice, at present you cannot be shopping anymore in NEW DELHI, India because of the pollution up there. Breathing will be a problem for you. Thank you so much for this most valuable poem I ever read and accidentally on Valentine's Day. A very Happy Valentine's Day for you, dear Alice. God's Blessing be always with you! SFC.

1 0 Reply

Beautiful revolutionary thought from Alice Walker

1 0 Reply
Bernard F. Asuncion 03 February 2019

A marvelous poem by Alice Walker.....

1 0 Reply
Butch Decatoria 03 February 2019

Snaps! I dig it. And I were president... I would open all the borders and let the world in...

0 0 Reply
Glen Kappy 03 February 2019

i find this poem, in the style of slam poetry and reminiscent for me of some of ferlinghetti'w work, entertaining and, sadly, still so true of contemporary america though it was written years ago. -gk

0 0 Reply
READ THIS POEM IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Alice Walker

Alice Walker

Eatonton Georgia
Close
Error Success