This is the poem written by Richard Blanco for President Obamas 2013 Inaugural.
" One Today"
One sun rose onus today, kindled over our shores,peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces of the Great Lakes,spreading a simple truth across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.
One light, waking up rooftops, under each one , a story told byour silent gestures moving behind windows. My face, your face, millions of faces in morning's mirrors, each one yawing to life, crescedoing into our day: pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights, fruit stands:apples, limes nd oranges arrayed like rainbows begging your praise. Silver trucs heavy with oil or paper-bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us, on our way to clean tables read ledgers, or save lives- to teach geometry, or ring-up groceries as my mother did for twenty years, so I could write this poem.
All of us as vital as the one light we move through,the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day:equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagined, the"I have a dream" we keep dreaming, or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won't explain the empty desks of twenty children marked absent today, and forever. Many prayers , but one light breathing color into stained glass windows, life into the faces of bronze statues, warmth onto steps of our museums and park benches as mothers watch children slide into the day.
One ground. Our ground, rooting us to every stalk of corn, every head of wheat sown by sweat and hands, hands gleaning coal or planting windmills in deserts and hilltops that keep us warm, hands digging treanches,routing pipes and cables, worn as my father's cutting sugarcane so my brother and I could have books and shoes.
The dust of farms and deserts, cities and plains mingled by one wind- our breath. Breathe. Hear it through the day's gorgeous din of honking cabs, buses lauching down avenues, the symphony of footsteps,guitars, and screeching subways, the unexcpected song bird on your clothes line.
Hear:squeaking playgrounds swings, trains whistling, or whispers across cafe' tables, Hear:the doors we open for each other all day, saying: hello,shalom,buon giorno,howdy, namaste, or buenos dias in the language my mother taught me -in every language spoken into one wind carrying our lives without prejudice as these words break from my lips.
One sky:since the Applachians and Sierras claimed their majesty, and the Mississipi and Colorado worked their way to the sea. Thank the work of our hands: weaving steel into bridges, finishing one more report for the boss on time, stitching another wound or uniform, the first brush stroke on a portrait, or the last floor on the Freedom Tower jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience.
One sky, toward which we somtimes life our eyes tired form work:some days guessing at the weather of our lives, some days giving thanks for a love that loves you back, sometimes praising a mother who knew how to give, or forgiving a father who couldnt give what you wanted.
We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always-home,always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop and every window , of one country-all of us-facing the stars
hope-a new constellation
waiting for us to map it, waiting for us to name it-together.
A beautiful poem that deserved being shared. And as much as I appreciate it, I found something missing. Somthing that was also missing in President Obamas first poets work, who wrote "Praise Song for the Day". Both poems are focused on the ground. A view of America from the ground, with moments that refer to the wind and the sky. And as beautiful as it is...it seemed to leave what created the heavens, the wind and the sky..unspoken., as if a momentary glance upward, equals that of all that has been given us...so much more, than just what we do ,here on earth.