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Hail Barack Obama

by Lionel E. Deimel

Hail Barack Hussein Obama,

Unlikely lead in our country’s drama;


A young man riding the fastest track,

Who’s reached the top despite being black;


An orator serving up inspiration

To a frightened and much dispirited nation.


Obama has faith in himself and in us,

And a confident grace that is ever a plus.


He tells us the truth and holds his head high,

Eschewing the pol’s inclination to lie.


In selecting advisors, he chooses for skill,

Frustrating detractors and building goodwill.


Obama’s a thinker, not just a decider;

He’ll bring us together, not be a divider.


So raise a glass high to Obama’s success—

May he help put an end to our nation’s distress;


May the land of the free and the home of the brave

Be a place over which our flag proudly can wave.


With a President having a rational plan,

We can say with confidence, “Yes, we can!”

I was inspired to write this poem by the concert held at the Lincoln Memorial on 1/18/2009 for Barack Obama and Joe Biden two days before they were to be installed as President and Vice President of the United States. On the day of Obama’s inauguration, 1/20/2009, I was convinced to remove two lines that tied the poem too tightly to the pre-inaugural season. Before the line beginning “So raise a glass high,” I originally had the following couplet:

Inauguration’s just hours hours away

With its promise to all of a brand-new day.

Also, my original version had no space between couplets. Arguably, the version above is a bit easier to read.

This poem was published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette with two other poems related to the new presidency.

— LED, 1/20/2009, rev. 12/21/32016

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