I cherish and respect our long-held democracy in the United States of America, but then on January 6, 2021, my heart dropped as I watched domestic terrorists breach our Capitol. I’ve spent the last couple weeks mulling over the the bizarre start to 2021. Insurrection has become an often-repeated word. Really? Pertaining to the United States of America? Oh, my God! For other countries, other angry people, yes, but here? I thought we were immune to this sort of rebellion.
So, I turned to poetry to process my feelings.
Insurrection, Not a Part of My Vocabulary
January 11, 2021
Definition, “an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insurrection
The word, insurrection
Has never been
A daily word in
Until January 6, 2021
Invoked its repetition
Over and over
The invasion of our Capitol
By a blood thirsty mob.
To take over
To take hostage
Certain congressmen and women
Our vice president
To execute them!
Gallows with a noose constructed
Within view of the Capitol.
Elected officials heard
Their names screamed
As they feared
For their lives!
I’ve heard rumblings
Of a Civil War
From conservative and liberal
I knew they were planning something.
Why didn’t the government know?
A question that needs answered.
Insurrection in the USA!
I’m 67 years old,
In my lifetime.
An anger that has raged
Out of control
On January 20, 2021
Threats of massive protests
All over the country.
The Civil War could be here!
What do I do?
The two weeks before the Inauguration I wondered. I checked news’ source repeatedly. The FBI actively arrested the leaders of the insurrection which totally changed the atmosphere at the Inauguration.
The military presence of 25,000 National Guardsmen in Washington, D. C. sent a strong message to the disruptors—we will not let it happen again!
Here’s my poem after the Inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris:
Insurrection or Democracy? Who Won?
January 22, 2021
On January 6, 2021
Insurrection raised its
Fear constricted my throat.
A breached Capitol
A Confederate flag
The threats of death
Our vice president.
Did democracy win? Hell, yes!
Our legislators counted the votes!
Insurrection did not stand in the way!
Two weeks we waited
As a country,
Holding our collective breaths
Family members turning in protesters
More video of the vile carnage.
For January 20, 2021
But democracy won!
A civil exchange of leadership
A warm presidential speech
Overflowing with calm,
A call to unity.
Then my heart exploded!
Amanda Gorman spoke,
The young black poet
Crowned her black braids
With festive red ribbon.
My poet’s heart soared.
Her words captured
A much-needed positivity.
Clear and precise!
Don’t let your political party affiliation
Stop you! Listen to her words!
A positive spin
Of our wounded nation
“The Hill We Climb”
with multiple alliterations
and strong imagery.
Healed my heart
Healed my fear.
I pray deeply, “If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
Did democracy win? Hell, yes!
As an English teacher, I printed Amanda’s poem and marked it up, circling the numerous alliterations and images. The repeated sounds created a poetic rhythm that soothed my soul. She made two references to the award-winning play, Hamilton, in her poem. https://bookstr.com/article/amanda-gorman-references-hamilton-in-the-hill-we-climb/
Poetry, above any other genre, needs to be heard, and there’s a magic if it’s in the poet’s voice. Reading it is good, but hearing it is so much better. Be sure and listen to Amanda’s presentation of her poem, “The Hill We Climb.”
If you’d like a copy of Amanda’s poem, download here:
As we move forward in 2021, insurrection no longer needs to be spoken or thought about. I choose to focus on peace and the spirit of Amanda’s intriguing poem.
How about you?
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