Obama Celebrations: No kids allowed in Ventura
As people come together all over the country
to celebrate Barack Obama’s victory,
black, white, brown, young, old, families, straights, gays
come together with tears and hugs and champagne toasts,
as people come together to celebrate yes we can–
we walked from our house to our polling place
and from there to a gathering
where we were told no we can not–
we were asked to leave the Obama celebration
the gathering in our neighborhood
at the Sylvia White Gallery on Main Street in Ventura.
We were asked to leave because we have a child,
a child so well behaved that people commented on it to us,
a child who has grown up at art openings and poetry readings,
a small child yes almost 5, a kindergartener
a child who knew about Barack Obama
a child who drew the line on her mother’s ballot
a child who dropped his father’s ballet in the box
a child who has been to a dozen war protests
a child who understood what it meant that Obama won.
This child born of parents and grandparents and great grandparents
all born and raised in this town or the next one over
voting in every election–
this child was told to leave as all the other children were told to leave.
This child who represents to many why they fought so hard
for Obama’s victory
for this change
this child had to leave–
a red balloon tied to his shoe
he cried most of the way home.
There were no words to explain:
Boycott Sylvia White Gallery in midtown Ventura:
Let them know that this is a town which includes its children
in its life, its art, its politics.
They are the newcomers here. School them.
This is not the Big City. This is a family town.
Back home we listen to Obama on the radio ask
“Is there anyone who still questions the power of our democracy?”
Yes, Mr President elect, there is. Our democracy wasn’t powerful enough
to welcome children to the Sylvia White Gallery on Main Street in Ventura on election night.
Yes, we can, Mr President-Elect. We elected you, but we’re not done. There is much we can do, yes we can. But we must include everyone. And yes we can.
“This victory alone is not the change we seek — it is only the chance to make that change,” Obama said.
So come on up for the rising…