Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Hill We Climb

When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade?  The loss we carry, a sea we must wade.  We've braved the belly of the beast, we've learned that quiet isn't always peace and the norms and notions of what just is, isn't always justice.  And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it, somehow we do it, somehow we've weathered and witnessed a nation that isn't broken but simply unfinished. ...

So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left, with every breath from my bronze, pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one, we will rise from the golden hills of the West, we will rise from the windswept Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution, we will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the Midwestern states, we will rise from the sunbaked South, we will rebuild, reconcile, and recover in every known nook of our nation in every corner called our country our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful, when the day comes we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid, the new dawn blooms as we free it, for there is always light if only we're brave enough to see it, if only we're brave enough to be it.

-- Amanda Gorman (1998-), America's first Youth Poet Laureate, "The Hill We Climb", read by Gorman at the inauguration of President Joseph R Biden, Jr as 46th President of the United States, 20 January 2021

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