Even the flags seemed frozen
to their poles, and the men
stamping their well-shod feet
resembled an army of overcoats.
But we were young and fueled
by hope, our ardor burned away
the cold. We were the president’s,
and briefly, the president would be ours.
The old poet stumbled
over his own indelible words,
his breath a wreath around his face:
a kind of prophesy.
Reprinted from Queen of a Rainy Country: Poems by Linda Pastan. Copyright © 2006 by Linda Pastan. Used with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
Linda Pastan is the author of fifteen book of poems, most recently A Dog Runs Through It (W.W. Norton, 2018) and Insomnia (W.W. Norton, 2015). Two of her books were finalists for the National Book Award: PM/AM (1982) and Carnival Evening (1998). She was Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1991-1995 and winner of the 2003 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Other honors include the Dylan Thomas award, a Pushcart Prize, the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry, and the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award. She lives in Chevy Chase, MD. To read more by this author: Evolving City Issue, Vol. 8:4, Fall 2007 DC Places Issue, Vol. 7:3, Summer 2006 Wartime Issue, Vol. 7:2, Spring 2006 Six Poems, Vol. 6:3, Summer 2005 Whitman Issue, Vol. 6:1, Winter 2004