To a Coy President
by Robert S. Becker
Had we but world enough, and time,
Your coyness, Barack, were no crime.
In leisure we'd sit down and think,
Or chuckle over Palin's wink.
You could author a third fine book,
'Til foes depart, by hook or crook.
While you and Michelle luxuriate
With storied rooms to contemplate;
Unrushed, your girls discern knowledge,
And jobs and mates after college.
Your phantom consensus will grow
And time itself will move more slow.
A philosopher-king may wait
And let Tea Party rage abate -
Lasting, I'd bet, one hundred years
Of going rogue with snarling sneers.
Change to "believe in" has no date,
Awash with bipartisan debate.
Was "Our moment is now" unclear?
You act like you have ages to spare.
When a new world is on the line,
Who dares rush creation divine?
But at my back I always hear
Foreclosure landslides hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Our infrastructure gone awry.
Somehow the urgency of now
Got stuck in the bottleneck of how.
Jobs are nowhere to be found
Nor 'made-in-America' resound;
The dispossessed are in despair,
Kaput by Cheney's laissez faire.
The seas expand from global heat
And nature warns of hard retreat.
You swore rough dragons to defy
Not slice in half each messy pie:
Did you triumph on election day
To waste a year above the fray?
You flashed that smile from ear to ear,
You sold us hope and banished fear.
In sum, you promised something new,
Not toughened chunks of Cheney stew.
Your staging had such perfect pitch,
The payoff feels like bait and switch.
Now therefore let us make amends,
We liberals remain your friends;
Our leftwing fervor still rings true,
But you must come aboard anew.
Battle shrill voices of reaction
Head on, not with faint redaction.
Henceforth, shake up the way things are,
Relight your charismatic star;
Take on a Senate mired in slog,
And bankers smug, high on the hog.
Fire Clinton retreads far and wide,
Embrace risk takers not hogtied,
Freed from clutches of the super-rich,
Vigilant 'gainst the oncoming ditch.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our courage up into one ball,
Rattle America's gated life,
And tear the system with rough strife.
Thus, seize the moment and the sun,
The game's afoot, it can be won.
[Author's note: English majors will recall the best love poem in our language, To His Coy Mistress, by Andrew Marvell, from whom this satire unashamedly borrows logic, language, and a tone of serious fun.]
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