Let us go then, you and I,
When Florida is still spread beneath the sky, like a patient etherized upon a table,
Let us go, fleeing the half-deserted mansion, ignoring the muttering complaints
Of jealous rivals both Republican and beyond, and the whines of critics never fond,
And issues that follow like a tedious argument, and hurt my brain, and lead me to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go now to the Senate.
In the room moderates come and go, looking for a man they used to know.
The problems that rub against my window-panes, the problems that recur again,
A deficit that licks the corners of the Capitol, despite the trust funds now all drained,
Now let fall upon the state whatever comes from developers, by a law passed with my signature, quiet and neat,
Which blames growth rules for the state's plight,
Now those rules curl once about the House, and go to sleep.
And indeed there will be time, before the oceans rise up on shore,
Time enough to lay aside my "global warming" shtick, time enough to befriend the utilities once more,
Whom once I berated and orated to, then green,
Time enough to worry later, and to mock such threats as, after all, unseen,
Time yet for a hundred contributions, and a hundred resolutions of great import,
Before the taking of my oath and tea.
In the room tree huggers come and go, looking for a man they used to know.
And indeed there will be time, to ask, "What am I for? What am I for?"
To come out (late) against Sotomayor,
Time to burnish my right side, it's there, there, beneath my perfect hair —
[Some will say: "How his credentials are so thin!]
And yet, I always seem to win — for merits pale beside a good tie-pin.
[Yet they will rail: "Do not be fooled again!"]
Do I dare, do I dare,
Yet in the minute there is time, time for getting out while the getting's good.
No! I am not an Askew, Graham, Chiles nor Bush, nor was meant to be,
A placeholder governor, one that will do, to issue a press release, make a scene or two,
Stroll the Senate, no doubt, an easy tool, deferential, glad to shake a hand, politic, cautious and meticulous.
And would it have been worth it, after all, would it all have been worth while,
After the insurance mess, and the budget mess, and repealing the growth laws,
If one, trashing a state as easily as throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the Senate, might say,
"That is not it, at all,
"That is not what I meant at all."
I grow bold … I grow bold,
I shall steal away before the story's told.
So much for Prufrock and T.S. Eliot. Meanwhile, astute reader Sean Timmons found mistakes in some ZIP code subtotals in my spreadsheet in the St. Petersburg mayor's race. I've posted a new version at www.links.tampabay.com. The overall statistics in my Sunday column are not affected.