The Zoey Blog: Praise song for the day FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Praise song for the day

June's latest (and best) discussion on the topic of this baby's auspicious arrival has been that she is waiting to come out in what is completely an Obama world. It's a funny little joke that could very well be true if it weren't for the laws of biology and human growth and development. Regardless, it was a tiny bit stirring today when when the President Elect was sworn into office as the 44th President of the United States of, as my friend Colin would say, 'Murica. Enough so that it had to be noted here. Enough so that we thought it apropriate to reprint Elizabeth Alexander's post-oath poem just for funzies

The following is a schweeeet transcript of the inaugural poem recited by ol' Lizzy...It's titled Praise song for the day

Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others' eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.

A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."

We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side; I know there's something better down the road."

We need to find a place where we are safe; We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day. Praise song for every hand-lettered sign; The figuring it out at kitchen tables.

Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy self."

Others by first do no harm, or take no more than you need.

What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light.

Some people hated it...we loved it. Surely this not-so-punctual baby of ours was waiting to hear it from her womb-side seats, not quite the best in the house but not all that bad either.


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