Posted on January 19, 2021January 19, 2021 by Sangha of the PandemicIn This Place. An American Lyric by Amanda Gorman Poet Laureate for Biden Inauguration There’s a poem in this place—in the footfalls in the hallsin the quiet beat of the seats.It is here, at the curtain of day,where America writes a lyricyou must whisper to say.There’s a poem in this place—in the heavy grace,the lined face of this noble building,collections burned and reborn twice.There’s a poem in Boston’s Copley Squarewhere protest chantstear through the airlike sheets of rain,where love of the manyswallows hatred of the few.There’s a poem in Charlottesvillewhere tiki torches string a ring of flametight round the wrist of nightwhere men so white they gleam blue—seem like statueswhere men heap that long wax burningever higherwhere Heather Heyerblooms forever in a meadow of resistance.There’s a poem in the great sleeping giantof Lake Michigan, defiantly raisingits big blue head to Milwaukee and Chicago—a poem begun long ago, blazed into frozen soil,strutting upward and aglow.There’s a poem in Florida, in East Texaswhere streets swell into a nexusof rivers, cows afloat like mottled buoys in the brown,where courage is now so commonthat 23-year-old Jesus Contreras rescues people from floodwaters.There’s a poem in Los Angelesyawning wide as the Pacific tidewhere a single mother sweltersin a windowless classroom, teachingblack and brown students in Wattsto spell out their thoughtsso her daughter might writethis poem for you. There’s a lyric in Californiawhere thousands of students march for blocks,undocumented and unafraid;where my friend Rosa finds the power to blossomin deadlock, her spirit the bedrock of her community.She knows hope is like a stubbornship gripping a dock,a truth: that you can’t stop a dreameror knock down a dream. How could this not be her citysu naciónour countryour America,our American lyric to write—a poem by the people, the poor,the Protestant, the Muslim, the Jew,the native, the immigrant,the black, the brown, the blind, the brave,the undocumented and undeterred,the woman, the man, the nonbinary,the white, the trans,the ally to all of the aboveand more?Tyrants fear the poet.Now that we know itwe can’t blow it.We owe itto show itnot slow italthough ithurts to sew itwhen the worldskirts below it. Hope—we must bestow itlike a wick in the poetso it can grow, lit,bringing with itstories to rewrite—the story of a Texas city depleted but not defeateda history written that need not be repeateda nation composed but not yet completed.There’s a poem in this place—a poem in Americaa poet in every Americanwho rewrites this nation, who tellsa story worthy of being told on this minnow of an earthto breathe hope into a palimpsest of time—a poet in every Americanwho sees that our poem penneddoesn’t mean our poem’s end.There’s a place where this poem dwells—it is here, it is now, in the yellow song of dawn’s bellwhere we write an American lyricwe are just beginning to tell.CreditCopyright © 2017 by Amanda Gorman. Reprinted from Split This Rock’s The Quarry: A Social Justice Database.