imagining the move to New York City,
magnetized and terrified
because it outstretches your resources,
challenges your certainties,
it’s somewhere you’ll have to grow into —
The world packed in to an 8-mile island,
nowhere to expand but up,
ambition its lifeblood: its monuments
will keep rising, redefining
your sense of enough.
You will get hungrier, bolder,
beat up, schooled by a gauntlet
of competition, smarts, risk,
You will fall in love over and over
with strangers becoming less strange
by the ways we can’t help but human each other.
A good decade in,
Made in a quiet land
Indiana small town
Knit by seasons of extremes —
Summers you could wring out like a sponge,
Winters that freeze even breath,
That taught her what can grow in dark silence
Torn by war
That took her father of six across the sea
To the ledge of a bomber’s open door
In the clouds over Normandy
She was not yet three
When he jumped, his purple heart
racing with courage and the fear
that occasions it.
Broken, he lived almost a year
Before the car crash on the way home
to an anniversary…
May division humble us
into radical attention.
Confusion become curiosity,
Exasperation evolve into compassion,
Anger grow into wonder.
May difference become a mystery worth entering.
May our certainties be spacious enough
for doubts, questions, reformation,
Our identities be rooted in the love
by which, for which, through which we fight.
May we be brave enough to confess ignorance
of another’s experience of injustice
and to state our own;
to express, to embody, to sweat and play
within a vision of a more perfect union,
of justice for all,
of hope for the marginalized, oppressed, silenced —
to create from it…