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Poetry

Inauguration Poem

Tony Zurlo

“[The] very flesh shall be a great poem…
the silent lines of…lips and face and
between the lashes of…eyes.”
— Walt Whitman
  
From Capitol steps to the Washington Monument
to the Lincoln Memorial more than one million poems
were liberated on Inaugural Day, a million bundled bodies
leaping like innocent gazelles in the Siberian winds,
arms linked for a day in an extended family of poems.

Tears for words, smiles for rhyme, naïve and weathered faces,
young faces riding the shoulders of a battled generation,
the new and ancient merged as one multi-colored sea of poetry.
And ten thousand thousand poems gathered in town halls
and college campuses and capitols and villages across the globe.

Poetry overran the land that day. Relentless waves of poems
shattering chains of color, defying dreams deferred, recalling
revolution and demanding revolution, buoyant and irrepressible,
each face a poem of affirmation that America will overcome.

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