R.A. Burleigh

Obama's Foretaste As Seen By Whitman's Ghost - Poem by R.A. Burleigh

I am walking through a distant land
The drumbeats of a great fractioned crowd
The incorporation of time and scattered blood

I understand vaguely that Walt Whitman saw Lincoln
On the streets of Washington, and in a crowded New York
Saw him and Whitman was lifted
As if running in a warm spring rain

And there are flowers blooming and booming canon
Inside the heart, inside the hardware of harvest
The bloody soil alive for tilling

Barack, Whitman calls, not even aware where the name comes from
A voyage across seas of horror
The old man's hand in the air greeting
That greeting a mirage of future thirst quenching oasis
That are almost lost in the surging, lonesome crowd

But Obama has seen the hand
Although the bearded face of the gray one is too far off
Seen, and seminal words cross the grizzled gulf

(For me, only a spectator, it recalls Blake and many others)
And the boy king slips, despite every contrary fact
Into a smile of lasting joy

Into a smile of Maple tree harvest
Where children in far October dance in wide streets
Amid apples, wheat, ideas for all the sleepy crowd

Topic(s) of this poem: history, love

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, February 14, 2018

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