Yesterday was a day of wonderful celebration. I've not engaged much in national politics until now, yet I couldn't help but be inspired by the hope that Barack Obama represents for our country.
The reading of inauguration poems last night in Northampton was an event full of community spirit and powerful words. Wanting to participate, I was going to read a poem that I'd written and didn't much care for, but luckily I was rescued by my father, Walter Schiff, a conscientious objector to the Vietnam war, who sent me a wonderful, heartfelt email. I arranged the words into lines, but the words are all his.
Before I left for work today
I put out our flag.
I can't remember the last time
I felt proud about doing that.
Most years I have been sad
because it was a reminder of the ideals
which seemed to be ignored.
After hanging the flag out, I looked up
as I walked back to the garage.
There right overhead was the big dipper
which was the "drinking gourd"
for slaves headed north.
What a morning!
Indeed. And here is the text of Elizabeth Alexander's poem, "Praise Song for the Day."