Thursday, January 21, 2021

Dear Amanda Gorman

You stood there like a beacon

glowing yellow, black, and red—

younger than most in years

but with each wise word you said

you lifted me up

    and up

    and up—

how’d you find my shallow hole?

How’d you know where to look

to fill the empty in my soul?

Your words were like wings

guiding me out of a grave

Words like purpose, harmony, and bridges,

dared me to be brave.

You told me there was light

through the shade, beyond the tree,

then you said not just to look

for hope’s what we must be

Because of you, I answer

from inside the walls I know too well;

Because of you, I now will share

all I have to tell.

The truth is real, I must declare, 

despite so much neglect—

The truth must reign forever more;

its absence we regret. 

And the truth’s that when you found me

I was buried deep in dirt,

my tired bones they ached,

my beaten spirit, Lord, it hurt. 

Then your words traveled down

    and down

    and down

to the dark where I’d recoiled

Your verse gave me strength

    and hope

    and faith

despite the many lives of toil. 

You took my hand and promised me

that the light is really there;

You told us we could be much more

than the burdens that we bear. 

Thank you, young beacon, for spreading hope

and peace throughout the land.

Thank you, young poet, for convincing me

we have the strength to stand

and declare to all this nation:

it's time that freedom rings

no more suffocation—

let's all end the suffering.

And the words that we will sing

will echo far and strong

until we finally work together

to right the nation’s wrongs. 

Pure light, you showed the world

that our voices will be heard

because nothing starts to right a wrong

like a truthful, youthful word.