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Raymond A. Foss Poems
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Words in quotes by Raymond A. Foss

What makes these words so distinct,
so special, so unique, that they must be in quotes,
that each, in their turn, must swear
the same exact words

Oh but the repetition, the fidelity, the power
our nation wrapped up in that ritual, that invoking
those words in quotes, binding each one
to the history of the office, the legacy of the nation,
the push and pull of power, of law, to remain
beholden to the words, the principles, the law

For this is to be a nation, governed by the people,
embodied in the words of mettle, our lives together
measured, bound up, by that which is written down
preserved, honored, revered.

These are the words that matter, that bind us,
the right of each one’s actions, empowered
the pledge, the oath, the promise
to those words in quotes

January 17, 2009
on the juxtaposition of the
80th birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
and the inauguration of Barack Obama
as President of the United States of America
and the Presidential Oath, from the
US Constitution, Article I, Section 1, Clause 8,
repeated verbatim by the presidents. The only language in quotes
in the Constitution, unlike the general principles elsewhere.
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully
execute the office of President of the United States,
and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend
the Constitution of the United States."
View Raymond A. Foss:  Poems | Quotes | Biography | Books

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