Friday July 24th 2020

The Miracle of Morning

“I thought I’d awaken to a world in mourning.
Heavy clouds crowding, a society storming.
But there’s something different on this golden morning.
Something magical in the sunlight, wide and warming.

I see a dad with a stroller taking a jog.
Across the street, a bright-eyed girl chases her dog.
A grandma on a porch fingers her rosaries.
She grins as her young neighbor brings her groceries.

While we might feel small, separate, and all alone,
Our people have never been more closely tethered.
The question isn’t if we will weather this unknown,
But how we will weather this unknown together.

So on this meaningful morn, we mourn and we mend.
Like light, we can’t be broken, even when we bend.

As one, we will defeat both despair and disease.
We stand with healthcare heroes and all employees;
With families, libraries, schools, waiters, artists;
Businesses, restaurants, and hospitals hit hardest.

We ignite not in the light, but in lack thereof,
For it is in loss that we truly learn to love.
In this chaos, we will discover clarity.
In suffering, we must find solidarity.

For it’s our grief that gives us our gratitude,
Shows us how to find hope, if we ever lose it.
So ensure that this ache wasn’t endured in vain:
Do not ignore the pain. Give it purpose. Use it.

Read children’s books, dance alone to DJ music.
Know that this distance will make our hearts grow fonder.
From a wave of woes our world will emerge stronger.

We’ll observe how the burdens braved by humankind
Are also the moments that make us humans kind;
Let every dawn find us courageous, brought closer;
Heeding the light before the fight is over.
When this ends, we’ll smile sweetly, finally seeing
In testing times, we became the best of beings.”
~ Amanda Gorman,
Youth Poet Laureate

Thursday November 28th 2019

“Steel spears through vapor, 

The tower tapered like a child’s pencil.

This, a peak of progress and potential,

Built when the Big Apple had to grapple

With the Great Depression.

But in that time of dire stakes,

This Empire State still desired 

To scrape the sky.

And when the cloud-high building glows, 

It shows, in all its concrete and steel,

That a reeling country can still heal,

Can seek an ideal of opportunity

And unbroken hope, all the possibilities

That this pen of a tower wrote here.

Here, into the screams of subway,

Here, where there’s dreams of someday,

Here, the Melting Pot,

Where geniuses jive to jazz 

And hustle nonstop to hip hop,

On chalked up street blocks we bebop,

We wild, we want, we

Stunt, we strive, we

Hustle, we hungry, 

We run free, here we come, we

One country, we ain’t done see,

We’ve begun the 

Task of building a

Tower together,

Not stacked with steel or stone, 

But heart and home.

We hone a nation that’s a myriad, like Manhattan:

On each block you find the black, the Latin,

The indigenous, the religious,

Lovers beyond labels, the disabled community,

Foreigners and sojourners,

On each corner of this land,

In this cacophony of a country,

We reach down long hands,

That we all might stand

Together, where we belong.

Our roar rings strong,

Like King Kong, we mount a tower

And pound our chest. Blessed with power,

We do not rest.

We do not weaken.

We are the skyscraper. 

We are the beacon,

Our spines steel-spire straight.

In times of higher, dire stakes,

Let this fire wake us to the faith before our eyes:

That a republic doesn’t require hate to rise.

Globe, grant us your tired, your aching,

And tomorrow we’ll be shaking the skies.

We cannot fail. So we will not fall. 

We are moved by the call of this 

Colossus of a tall steeple.

It proves that when

Only include the few,

You only injure all people.

But when we retire our gates,

We build up anew these entire United States

Into an empire to inspire the great.”
~ Amanda Gorman
The Empire State Building Poem