This week saw Barack Obama’s second inauguration as President of the United States of America. I remember his first one quite clearly. I was in my first year of uni and my housemate Tom and I watched it in his room, on his computer.
I also seem to remember his room was a terrible mess. It always was.
Anyway, one of the standout moments for me was when the inaugural poet was announced. I had no idea that such events were still marked with a poem and I was quite excited by the prospect.
(By the way, the word poem is really weird. Poem. See?)
What a unique opportunity, I thought, for this relatively obscure poet to do something incredible with the whole world watching. And as said poet took to the stage, I found myself pleading for it to ‘please be a limerick, please be a limerick, please be a limerick.’
Alas, no limerick was forthcoming. And this term’s inaugural poet, Richard Blanco, also delivered a poem as equally devoid of humour, rhyme and Irish origin as its predecessor. Bitterly disappointing.
Not one to be deterred by such obstacles as reality however, I set about writing the poem you would have heard had I been chosen as the inaugural poet. Granted, I would have been a rather left-field choice on a number of fronts, but it’s not as if there isn’t precedent. I’ve had two poems published I’ll have you know.
So here it is:
There once was a man named Obama,
Who ordered the death of Osama,
His first name: Barack
His skin colour: black
And his dream is to own a pet llama.
Inspirational. Moving. Brilliant. Controversial, sure. But I can just imagine the stunned silence after its delivery. And I can guarantee you, if that had been the inaugural poem then no one would be talking about the fact that Beyoncé mimed the National Anthem.