Ode to This Moment in History

“The Hill We Climb” and how Gorman delivered her poem left us full, completely inspired and limitless.

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mccv / Shutterstock
mccv / Shutterstock

We know trauma can take hold of the body and the mind in many forms. Enduring emotional stress and fear can cause serious mental and physical health effects. You don’t have to experience violence to experience trauma. For many of us, we have lived in a state of high alert and anxiety for the past four years — really not sure what Donald Trump would do or tweet next. For those who have suffered from emotional and psychological trauma, we will recover from the past four years differently. We need to heal one day at a time from our PTSD.

I had become so accustomed to anguish and rage that I’d almost forgotten what it felt like to feel happy about politics. The first tingles of unbridled joy came when Amy Klobuchar introduced Kamala Harris as “Madame Vice-President-elect.” I wasn’t expecting to be so overcome by the joy I felt by the ceremony and all the amazing people who played their part. 

But before I get to the 22-year-old poet Amanda Gorman and her powerful lines that resonated across the United States and the world — can we first celebrate the purple trouser suit, the pearls and natural brilliance of Kamala Harris? And who will ever think of the national anthem again without thinking of Lady Gaga? When Lady Gaga sang “… gave proof through the night that our flag was still there” and turned to look at the flag flying above the Capitol, that hit a place that meant something very different this time… and then the tears of joy start to flow. And we now have a new President — President Joe Biden.  Who can forget his beautiful wife Jill holding the Bible as he swore his allegiance and his soul to democracy? 

After four years of a narrative based on hate and violence, which felt like mental and emotional abuse, we felt our hearts opening to have hope for the future. But it was Amanda Gorman, the young poet who stole the show from Lady Gaga and Garth Brooks. She represented what we — as a nation and personally — need to remember right now — that the things right under our noses are resilient, extraordinary, and profound. 

For the past three weeks I have woken up thinking about the brave poet Amanda Gorman and what she had to do to not only write “The Hill we Climb” but to actually get up and recite her poem perfectly on Inauguration day. I think it is one of the reasons I decided to publish this article. “The Hill We Climb” and how Gorman delivered her poem left us full, completely inspired and limitless. I guess that is why at 65 I sat down to write this poem — really as an ode to this remarkable young woman, this moment in history and to democracy. 

Hello Mr. President

Our brand new resident

With new policies to espouse

Welcome to the White House

Democracy welcomes you home

As does our Capitol’s dome

We say goodbye to the lies

And hope white supremacy dies

2016 a mystery

We need to rewrite history 

Restore democracy 

Say goodbye to hypocrisy 

History has its eyes on you

And what you have been through

Will they tell your story?

The struggles to find glory

This is your time

To make hope and history rhyme

To fix a broken nation

With your new administration

Restore the constitution 

A great solution 

On your soul a guarantee 

America the land of the free

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