The Significance of Barack Obama's Inauguration


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What a difference a day makes! America is a different place today than it was yesterday. We will undoubtedly spend years plumbing the meaning of what happened when Barack Hussein Obama took his oath of office as America’s 44th president, and I don’t know if even then we will be able to adequately describe how President Obama rewrote the American story.

What follows is my attempt to convey a little bit of that story.

Pulsing rhythmic drumbeats Cadences punctuated with The heavy staccato of jangling ankle irons Hovering over the water From some distant side of the sea

With the throbbing mixes Subjugated strangers’ cries No longer the possessors of their souls Sobbing that floats out and away Like deadwood on endless waves

Now the chorus swelling Appropriates fireside tales Stories of Moses down in Egypt And a chariot swinging low Amid humid tobacco fields

In the dead of nighttime Hushed and whispering rising Songs of deliverance, cautiously, boldly A train leaves the station Below the moon-lit soil

Booming, roaring canons Percussive crescendos, clashes Blood and bodies on one hundred battlefields Change tune and tempo In this divided house

Liberating lyrics Ring out across heartlands Unfettered men and women too soon recognize Servitude by another name Within their own homes

Melodies and singers Arm in arm together Riding, marching, sitting, praying, singing Legato fire hoses Barking dogs keep time

Baritone cadenza Stone steps an ample platform A refrain borne of drumbeats and a dream Soaring, wheeling above mountaintops A songbird on the updrafts

Eager silence waiting Lowered instruments, lips closed Anticipating the maestro's arrival on stage He raises up the baton and we Sing and we play In unison


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/1359