by Maya Angelou
Here, root yourselves beside me.
I am the Tree planted by the River, which will not be moved.
I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree
I am yours – your Passages have been paid.
Life up your faces, you have a piercing need
for this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived,
and if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
Lift up your yes upon the day breaking for you.
Give birth again to the dream.
Women, children, men, take it into the palms of your hands.
Mold it into the shape of your most private need.
Sculpt it into the image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts each new hour holds new chances for new beginnings.
Do not be wedded forever to fear, yoked eternally to brutishness.
The horizon leans forward,
offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day you may have the courage to look up and out upon me, the Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.
No less to Midas than the mendicant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.
Here on the pulse of this new day you may have the grace to look up and out and into your sister’s eyes, into your brother’s face, your country
and say simply