When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade.
We've braved the belly of the beast,
We've learned that quiet isn't always peace,
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn't always just-ice.
And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it Somehow we do it Somehow we've weathered and witnessed a nation that isn't broken but simply unfinished
We the successors of a country and a time Where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one.
And yes we are far from polished far from pristine but that doesn't mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.
So we lift our gazes not to what stands between us but what stands before us We close the divide because we know, to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all. Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew That even as we hurt, we hoped That even as we tired, we tried That we'll forever be tied together, victorious
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division.
Poetry by Amanda Gorman