A Letter from Claire

Painting ©reated by Knut Kargel

Seattle, 29th October, 2008


Dear Barack Obama,


My Name is Claire Winston. I live in Seattle and I'm writing to you, because I'm in big trouble. And my Dad, too.
It's Wednesday. You see, I always do my homework on Wednesdays. Dad's at work then and it means: no TV, no smoking, no orders given.
Now I sit at the kitchen table in front of my copybook and read, what Mrs. Higgins, our teacher, asks us to do: “Please write.. blablabla.. what Barack Obama means by saying: “Yes, we can”.
My eyes run over the sheet and I try to remeber your words on TV last night. Unfortunately, Dad's comments were so loud, that I haven' t got a clue what you were speaking about. I could only listen to you, the moments Dad lit a cigarette and kept quiet for a second.
“Yes, we can!” I heard you say as many times as Dad's pauses allowed.
This sentence was all I could capture. And your voice.
"Yes, we can!"
“What does he mean, what does he mean..?” my inner voice keeps asking, while I chew my pencil and my eyes wander about Dad's weekly shopping on the cupboard. Tomato soups, beans, chips and marshmellows laugh at me.
I love tomato soup. And You? I can't imagine living without. And I might have to. You see, the cannery Dad's working at, is closing down. From next week on, there will be no shopping, no silent Wednesday, no tomato soup any more.
Dad is tired, sad and upset. He doesn't know how to go on, how to manage without a job and with me.
That's why, instead of doing my homework, I write to you.
Mr. Obama, I do believe in what you say. There was no doubt in your voice. So please, Mr. Obama, if you and your family can, please, please tell me where. I'll tell Dad, I promise. We'll come! Both of us!

Best regards from
Claire Winston

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