An Ode to Barack Obama for President of the United States of America

by Muisi-kongo Malonga

We now stand at the edge of history,

Impatiently waiting for our fate to reveal itself,

Will we soar in open skies or will we plummet deeper into a perilous abyss?

Only we can decide,

Armed with paper and pen,

Ballot and staff,

We will begin to rewrite the story of this land,

Erasing the exclusion and isolation that waved at us mockingly as an estranged flag was tossed and tussled by torrential winds,

Perhaps now those stripes and bright stars will symbolize a dream in which we all can stake a claim,

Perhaps that brilliant red will represent the blood that runs through all of our veins and not just a silent response to the bloodshed and genocide of oppressed masses,

Perhaps the blue will now be symbolic of friendly welcoming shores and not the muddy pain-filled waters of Katrina and the middle passage,

And white, that ever illusive color, will no longer be emblematic of unattainable power, prosperity and freedom but instead of peace.

The promise of a great and just nation lays just meters ahead,

Stay the course, do not surrender until your ballot is cast …

Muisi-kongo Malonga of Fua Dia Congo and the Congolese Dance Drum Workshop, who wrote this poem to announce their endorsement of Obama for President, can be reached at Muisikong@yahoo.com. Celebrate the election by learning to dance and drum at the SF Bay Area African Dance & Drum Festival Nov. 5-9 at the Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice St., Oakland. Don’t miss Muisi-kongo’s class Saturday, Nov., 8, 1-2:30 p.m.