Inauguration 2021: America Exhaled


Throughout the day,
the wind sighed—
ghosts of ancestors cried.

As the guests and honorees gathered,
As presidents-past shook hands
or patted shoulders,
As Senators and Judges
took their places,

the wind sighed—
a Greek Chorus of collective
anxiety and expectation.

Songs were sung,
pledges were made,
oaths were sworn,
a poet hearts lifted,
a benediction raised hope.

The wind sighed—
clearing the air.

Pomp and ceremony
on empty streets,
marching bands
and caravans of armored cars
carried precious cargo,
Joe and Kamala,

And the wind sighed,
as drum and fife
kept the beat
of their slow but forward progress
to their sacred destinations:

The White House for Joe,
The Eisenhower Building for Kamala.

As doors opened,
and our new leaders
stepped into their new roles,

America exhaled,
and the wind fell silent.


During the long march,
a reporter shouted,
“Where are you going?”

Kamala answered,
“I’m walking to work!”

Two hours later,
Kamala appeared in the Senate Chamber
to swear in the new Majority Leader.

In two more hours,
Joe appeared at the Resolute Desk,
a stack of Executive Orders ready to issue.

Later, still,
Joe held a virtual swearing in
for his appointed staff.

His Press Secretary gave
her first news briefing,
socially distanced.

All this they did
in the first six hours
of their first day in office.

Still to come was Celebration:
A Stellar Concert
by America’s best entertainers.

At the end of the night,
America exhaled
And soundly slept.

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