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Wednesday, July 10, 2024


by Dick Altman 

As the poet might have awakened to it…

After an historic,
all-night zoom
with world’s leadership,
she—America’s new president—
stood on California’s shore,
sun rising directly behind her,
ray’s emanating
from her silhouette,
as from the Statue
of Liberty’s crown,
to announce America’s
new proclamation
of emancipation.
An emancipation,
she exclaimed,
that would usher in
a new era
of global freedom,
not imposed,
but welcomed,
in every corner,
and at every level,
of humanity.
We need to fight,
she said,
not each other,
but for each other,
for the planet,
to sustain and nourish
each other,
for the world of work
to offer dignity
and opportunity,
for economies to thrive,
as they compete,
with best ideas,
realized at best price.
We need to recognize,
she went on,
to honor
our collective individuality,
our shared commonalties,
the dissonant music
that entwines,
and enriches our lives,
rather than fractures,
if we let it.
To recognize the need,
she stressed,
for borders of heritage,
rather than walls
of defense,
for borders of possibility,
rather than denial.
We can all wish
for a perfect world,
she said,
in that dream
we all inhabit,
each in our own measure,
loving thy neighbor,
and the flowers
always in bloom.
Yet it is imperfection
that permeates life,
and the striving
to overcome it.
In that we are all joined.
Let America,
once again,
by word and deed,
by shake of hand,
hug or clap on shoulder,
remind we breathe
the same breath,
share the same night,
wake to the same sun,
shining on similarity
and difference,
without exception.

Dick Altman writes in the high, thin, magical air of Santa Fe, NM, where, at 7,000 feet, reality and imagination often blur. He is published in Santa Fe Literary Review, American Journal of Poetry, riverSedge, Fredericksburg Literary Review, Foliate Oak, Blue Line, THE Magazine, Humana obscura, The Offbeat, Haunted Waters Press, Split Rock Review, The RavensPerch, Beyond Words, The New Verse News, Sky Island Journal, and others here and abroad. His work also appears in the first edition of The New Mexico Anthology of Poetry, published by the New Mexico Museum Press. Pushcart Prize nominee and poetry winner of Santa Fe New Mexican’s annual literary competition, he has authored some 250 poems, published on four continents.