Grant Park


On Election night November 8 2008 I watched into the night as Barack Obama was the first African American to ever be elected President of the United States of America.  Following the war torn Bush years I was ready, at that time, for his message of Hope and Change. As it became clear that he had won, Obama met with his followers in Grant park in Chicago. I wrote this poem that night as I watched America gather. By his second term, I became disillusioned with the kind of hope and change that actually came about. Even so, this was a historic and significant event no matter which political side you fall on. This is how I felt at that time.

Grant Park 2008 

I saw America gathered on a cold November night

Black and white, yellow and red with all blends in between

I saw America gathered together as one people…

Children of integration, people of hope, “silver spoons,” and ghetto moms 

I saw America gathered with joy in their hearts

College Students, blue collar workers, business men, and teachers 

I saw America gathered “One Nation Under God”

People of all faiths, people of no faith, all with hope for the future 

I saw America gathered a shining light to the world

Examples of hope, oneness, unity, and love, speaking with one voice 

I saw America gathered watching History being made

Bringing down walls of race and fear that for too long held us back 

I saw America gathered fulfilling ancestral dreams

Of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King

I saw America gathered to let the whole world know

Those differences can be transcended and peace can be attained.

I saw America gathered and it made me very proud

To be part of this great country where every voice is heard

I saw America gathered and I prayed, that God

Would give our new president wisdom in the difficult path ahead 

I saw America gathered as Barack Obama spoke

With humility and pride, confidence and strength, wrapped in words of hope 

I saw America gathered eager for national change

Not black or white, rich or poor, simply Americans

…and nothing more!


Photo:  web image

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