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Saturday, January 16, 2016


by George Held

Senators Mike Lee abd Ted Cruz. Image source: Twitter/Ted Cruz.

“Any president who doesn’t begin every day on his knees isn’t fit to be commander in chief of this country.” — Ted Cruz at the National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa, Nov. 9, 2015

Ted Cruz in Iowa courting Christian
Fundamentalists by declaring genuflection
the default prayer position
for US Presidents recalls
Abraham Lincoln (“I would neither slave
nor master be”) who would bow
his head in communion with his deity
but would not sink to his knees like a slave
nor would he rave like the Canadian-Cuban-
American even to climb in the polls
were there polls in his day when “poll”
meant “head” as in “poll tax”
or the “shaved poll” of a prisoner
and Lincoln would simply ask God
to bless this rough and unready,
agonized and striving country
as it writhed in second birth (the first
being in 1776) from 1861-1865, when
the great commander-in-chief would bow
his head and bow his neck without shamelessly
courting the fundamentalists of his day
by telling them what he thinks they want to hear.

George Held, a regular contributor to The New Verse News, has a new book out from Poets Wear Prada, Culling: New & Selected Nature Poems.