"Let No Harm, for Barack Obama" by Mervyn Taylor
Thank you, Mervyn, for this gift.
Let No Harm
I pray no harm comes to this man
walking along a lonely stretch of road
that the bandits with ideas of robbing him
retreat upon seeing his face, and hearing him
calculate the size of the world.
He has traveled long on the way to the market,
the junction where the barterers come with mules
and millet, the harvest of their labor.
They have heard he has enough resources
to redeem the debts of sufferers,
That into his clothes are sewn pockets
that hold the weight of coins minted
in the currency of every country.
He has been coming for years, redoubling
through villages where curtains part to fling
yet another message. And now he counts
on the mercy of the stars, that he has not
read them wrong, that the people
who have come to trade have not grown
impatient, and packed up and gone.