Farewell, President Obama


Imagine that i am you and you are i

and you will see why this thank you has been the hardest goodbye.


It’s not his suave or charisma or what he’s done.

Nor is it his race or political affiliation.

It has little to do with his title – or lack thereof.

It’s what he represents to i – love.


He speaks on the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

like our forefathers planned it to be.

He recognizes that those ideas have not always been tangible

for women, minorities and those from overseas.


“What a great gift our founders gave to us,” he says

with a hint of wonder in his eyes.

But a gift for you is often a treasure for i.


i am the product of my environment – and so are you,

my friend.

He’s empathetic to the fact and all he asks is that

we grow and learn together and always lend a hand.


-- from the patriots and the pioneers,

to the slaves, immigrants and refugees,

the women who fought for the ballot here,

and the GI’s who died so you and i could sleep –


This nation has given you a purpose and

it’s given i reason, but that doesn’t mean

the future shouldn’t be ours while you

build your future and i live out my dreams.


“Race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society,”

he prefaces before speaking on the improvement

of racial relations since the days of

Jim Crow and widespread bigotry.  


“Trust in our democracy.”

“Restore the sense of common purpose.”


If we avoid cynicism and polarization,  

you and i should always be us and we.


We rise and fall as one.

As young Americans, we can determine this nation’s path

with our attitudes across the political spectrum.


We the people give the constitution its meaning and power.

Without us,

it’s just a piece of parchment we learn about at history hour.


We have to wake up.

Now it’s up to us to make the decisions.

We must not recede into our comfort zones

where opinions turn fact because they come from our friends.


As he leaves the White House and steps back into the civilian creed,

We must come out of our dorms, places of worship and social media feeds. 

Because this great sorting isn’t natural – it’ just makes us “i” and “you” --

Farewell President Obama, we have more work to do.

Tyler Marshall