Hug the U.S. (November 7, 2020)

Today is a big day. I propose a toast:
Here’s to the land of the brave and not so brave,
Home of the free and not so free,
A potpourri of accents, skin hues,
Religious views or none,
Ancestors from here and far,
Different strokes for different folks.

Here’s to Alaska and Hawaii
Entering the union in my lifetime.
Lucky me, I got to see the stars rearranged
On our spangled banner. Lesson learned:
In the USA, anything is possible.

Here’s to the generations
Who endured trauma as a nation (pandemic,
Market crash, dustbowl, assassination,
And more), who shared the relief of war’s end
And the sparkles of annual July 4th fireworks.

Here’s to adapting to challenge
And change when you can’t please
All of the people all of the time.

Here’s to the hope that
A big, deep national breath
Gives us time and space to
Recall, renew, replenish, and trust history.
To pledge allegiance to what must remain fundamental,
To what must be mutable.

Here’s to rearranging the stars of our vision,
Emblazoned on a banner of hope
That can embrace us each and all.
Long may it wave.
Today let’s hug the U.S.
And take the next step to heart.

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