America, America, Burning Bright


Bright Inaugural Day, Washington

The U.S. presidential inauguration in January will be one for the ages. A hat tip to Langston Hughes.

With special thanks to “Night Funeral in Harlem” by Langston Hughes


* * *

          Bright Inaugural
          Day, Washington:

          How’d they do it
          These two shining stars?

Chicago man, he did not say—
That someone else need pave the way—
He’s retired his cigarette box
and his PDA.

          Bright inaugural
          Day, Washington:

          It was he who led
          That mass of followers

Those followers came
To make amends—
They’ll keep following too,
To support his ends.

          Bright inaugural
          Day, Washington:

          Who taught one
          Black man to change today?

His grandmother
Showed the boy the way—
Stood right by him
Till just before Election Day.

          Bright inaugural
          Day, Washington:

When it is all over
And the cameras point back at the talking heads
and the oath all taken
and the last congratulations been said
and three ladies
Walk with him toward their beds
All off down Pennsylvania Avenue
That huge White House will stand,
          For our might
          Turning the corner
          All it took to get here—
This man we’re celebrating
Held so dear, so dear
To everyone this win empowers,
To those who made him into a man—
It was all our cheers that formed
          This one man’s
          Inaugural stand.

          Bright inaugural
          Day, Washington.