Inauguration Week 2021

I want to remember
this week
forever.
How I held my breath,
until it released
like an ocean wave
to the sound
of the National Anthem
sung by Lady Gaga
in a red skirt that reached Atlanta
and a gold brooch
of a dove.

Descending peace,
maybe not,
to a divided country
but to the little boy
my dear co-worker
will, finally, be able
to adopt from Somalia,
to the mothers of
transgender children,
and to the Redwoods
in California.
All from the stroke
of the same pen.

My breath
became steady
as Garth Brooks
sang Amazing Grace
like my dad used to
and it became
clear
that this country
does not have to be
who it was.

I don’t want to forget
how I bought myself
a ten dollar strand of pearls
that I couldn’t stop wearing,
to work,
or the grocery store
with my sweats
and my KN95 mask,
in my pajamas,
reading to my son.

The look of bliss
on Dr Fauci’s face
knowing
he will no longer
have to fear retribution
from the president
when he,
the country’s chief immunologist,
says people should not
inject household cleaner.

J.Lo reciting
“Una nación,
bajo Dios,
indivisible,
con libertad
y justicia
para todos,”
And shouting out,
“Let’s get loud,”
to celebrate
and remind us
of the children at the border
In the same breath.

My senator, Amy,
officiating it all
In her maternal Midwestern voice
and
Bernie
stopping by
during what looked
like a trip to the post office.
Witnessing it all
from his lawn chair.

And beautiful Amanda Gorman reciting,
“We will raise
this wounded world
into a wondrous one …
There is always light,
if only we’re brave enough
to see it.
If only we’re brave enough
to be it.”

Like
brave, brilliant Kamala
in her purple dress
or Dr. Jill Biden,
keeping her earned title,
or all of the immeasurable
and unseen acts
that lit up this country
like a Christmas tree,
the strangers that texted me
to remind me to vote,
all so that we can wake up
in the morning
to a country
that we love.

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