On not meeting Ronald Reagan, 1991


You wait, they promise.  It’s the biggest deal.

An hour or two you’ll get to see

a superman of destiny – the greatest!

I ask them – Yes, but who? 

Right now, it seems, they’re not allowed to tell.


But then excitement as the word goes round

first whispered, then crescendo – Say!

You’ve heard I guess?  Incredible!

It’s Ronald! Ronald!

Ronald’s on his way!


I pause.  My mind goes quickly to

a wave and smile I’ve seen a thousand times.

What more’s to see?

The well-worn smile?  The hand on heart?

The winning way?


It’s Ronald or the Golden Gate.

Sorry, I say, I just can’t stay.