The Day Obama Decided

The day Obama decided enough was enough
and turned off his TV and slept well for the first time since 2007,
and Nancy Pelosi decided enough was enough
on a weekend in Vermont, when she threw
the Times and the Post into the woodstove unread,
and Congress decided enough was enough
staring into the mirrors of their sleeping consciences:
They began by ordering all the troops home.

You should have seen the parades.

They marched past boarded-over buildings
and threw grenades
made from tulip bulbs and tomato seeds
into weedy empty lots.

They pulled trailers down the highways
past the cornfields
and wheeled hot tubs up to the doors
of arthritic old ladies,
presented bottles full of bubble bath
stamped “Courtesy of U.S. D.O.D.”

They rode ferris wheels with teenagers from Guantanamo,
passed baklava, pupusas, and mangoes on sticks
down the streets to anyone who wanted them.

Then they marched down Pennsylvania Avenue.
The doors of the White House were flung wide open.
Anyone who wanted to could stream in
for a handshake and a plastic flag.

The air was thick with confetti
from all the shredded fear laws.
Open your mouth: You can still
taste the jagged edges.
“SB1070″ and “USA PATRI”
melt away on your tongue.

Margit Berman is a writer, activist, psychologist, faculty at Dartmouth Medical School, and contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus. Berman is published in If Poetry Magazine and has won awards at the Poetry-Free-For-All and Garrison Keillor’s Green Light at the End of the Dock Festival of Romantic Poetry. Berman attended Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness 2008 and 2010.