David Lehman

Poem for Obama

We want a hero, an uncommon one,

The common wisdom being that integrity

In an age of irony is as unlikely as fun

On jury duty and equally as vital to the city,

The state, and the nation. Put the likelihood

Of rejection and the inevitability

Of injustice on one side; the ability

Of free people to choose their livelihood

On the other; and though hope is genteel

And faith obsolete, yet breathes there

A man or woman who cannot feel

The charge of the change in the air?

May God, in this winter hour,

Shine on your countenance

And teach you to balance

The heart's poetry and the mind's power.