Kim M. Baker


Queery Letter

Dear President Obama,

I know you didn’t ask,
but I am writing to tell you
that I am afraid to ask
(because I already know the answer)
whether you have told anyone
in your administration
that you told us during your campaign
that you would do something
about “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

But I hear tell
that you have not asked
and you have not told.
That we are put on hold.
And I am too old for waiting.
Too leery of queer behavior in my presidents
that makes them honorable
only on the stump.

So instead of asking,
let me tell you.
You are the president.
You don’t have to ask.
You just have to tell the colonels and generals and chiefs
that you want to stimulate the economy of equality,
that you want to reform the health of our military,
that you want to stand by
all the brave women and men protecting our country
and once and for all
stand down the offensive military action of hating your own.


Kim M. Baker has been teaching writing in academe and business for 19 years. Currently the Writing Specialist at Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, RI, Kim also works to end violence against women, including performance performed in the annual Until the Violence Stops Festival Providence. Kim’s poetry has been published widely in print and online. In November 2008, Kim won an honorable mention in the Poetry Society of New Hampshire National Contest, and her essays have been broadcast on National Public Radio of Rhode Island. Kim’s first play was stage read at the Culture*Park Short Plays Marathon in New Bedford, MA in November 2009.

(author retains copyright)