Of History and Hope
By Miller Williams
We have memorized America,
how it was born and who we have been and where.
In ceremonies and silence we say the words,
telling the stories, singing the old songs.
We like the places they take us. Mostly we do.
The great and all the anonymous dead are there.
We know the sound of all the sounds we brought.
The rich taste of it is on our tongues.
But where are we going to be, and why, and who?
The disenfranchised dead want to know.
We mean to be the people we meant to be,
to keep on going where we meant to go.
But how do we fashion the future? Who can say how
except in the minds of those who will call it Now?
The children. The children. And how does our garden grow?
With waving hands—oh, rarely in a row—
and flowering faces. And brambles, that we can no longer allow.
Who were many people coming together
cannot become one people falling apart.
Who dreamed for every child an even chance
cannot let luck alone turn doorknobs or not.
Whose law was never so much of the hand as the head
cannot let chaos make its way to the heart.
Who have seen learning struggle from teacher to child
cannot let ignorance spread itself like rot.
We know what we have done and what we have said,
and how we have grown, degree by slow degree,
believing ourselves toward all we have tried to become—
just and compassionate, equal, able, and free.
All this in the hands of children, eyes already set
on a land we never can visit—it isn’t there yet—
but looking through their eyes, we can see
what our long gift to them may come to be.
If we can truly remember, they will not forget.
I can't bear to deal with politics or celebrity deaths so I'm just not talking about them. It was very hot on Thursday, so hot that I thought maybe I'd skip taking a walk, though then Pokemon Go started an Adventure Week event with Indiana Jones hats and extra rock type Pokemon and I had to go chase down some Kabutos and a Shuckle. Because we had to go shopping since Adam is coming home for the summer tomorrow, Paul and I decided to go to Sheba for Ethiopian food for lunch, which was fabulous. We also went food shopping and went to look at the Brood X cicadas emerging four years early all over our county.
We watched this week's The Handmaid's Tale, which represents a significant departure from the book, but is very effective -- the story feels much less timeless, much more anchored in our specific political moment, but that also makes it utterly terrifying rather than generally unnerving. We also caught up on Blindspot, which was so tech-girl powerful and shipper-perfect that I'm almost sorry the show is coming back -- it could have been one like Forever and Limitless that I remembered as never doing a bad episode. Here are some Brookside reptiles from our visit in cooler weather earlier in the week, including the rescued baby turtle: