Back Next President Carter

Former farmer, President Carter
In a private stream
By his mountain side:
Alone in quiet pleasure
A non-pilot now,
Someone else way out there
In the trance-world
Of people,
Mans the ship.
Oh well,
He did his but.

A has been?
No, he still
And as secure
As the country
He led.

Is awful
In places
Of alienation,
But having reached the top,
The whole world
Is his community.
Wherever he goes
It is hello.

It is not all play
And pleasure.
It never has been.
He works.
Trying to understand
What went wrong.
His popularity, up one day, down the next.
It ended in defeat.
Nature's way.

Such a good father figure.
So precise in his concern.
Which woman wouldn't want him?
Or which son?

Irwin R. Shaw - 1981