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Four in Twenty Years

Jen Selinsky

Copyright © 2008 by Jen Selinsky

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Cover Art Copyright © 2008 by Jen Selinsky

ISBN: 9781370902064


During my third grade year in elementary school, in 1988, I hand made the original journal in which the following poems were written. Each student in our art class made one. The front and back “covers” were put into a paint spinner. My cover is white—splattered with red and blue paint. Once everything was dry, the book was bound, and the finished result contained eight pages, front and back.

Since I was not much of a writer during my younger years, the pages remained blank, but I saved the journal. I’m not sure why I decided to keep it, but I did. Perhaps because it was one of my pieces of art, and those I did not dispose of so easily. I did not intend to fill the journal until I found something that I wrote during my childhood or could come up with something that would look good on the pages.

When Barack Obama was elected president on November 4, 2008, I wrote my first poem since my thirtieth birthday. Three other verses followed about a month later. One was for my third cousin, actor Robert Prosky, who died on December 8, 2008. Another was in memory of Rear Admiral George S. Morrison, who passed away on November 17, 2008. The final poem, and the longest of the four, was written for Jim Morrison on December 8, 2008—what would have been his sixty-fifth birthday, had he lived.

I am now content knowing that I have filled the pages of my tiny journal with poems written for people who’ve inspired me. With the birth of these works, my little project is now complete.

Yes We Can!

A miracle.



Has been



Be told for

All those

Who cast

Their vote

And weren’t

Afraid to


Away the



Of yesterday as


Sought to

Bring us


Now on

The rebound to

A new


*dedicated to President Barack Obama upon his 2008 victory



Though faster,

The news had

Already struck.


Reached my

Widened eyes,

As I was


But surprised

To know.

No less a

Blow than

A shame;




You may


Come to

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