If I Planned Presidential Inaugurations

I would have had someone read this poem, the same poem I have scribbled on scraps of paper and shoved into the back of each of my children's baby books, for one day far from now when I'm gone and they need strength.

By Audre Lorde, who keeps saving my life over and over again:

For Each of You

Be who you are and will be
learn to cherish
that boisterous Black Angel that drives you
up one day and down another
protecting the place where your power rises
running like hot blood
from the same source as your pain.

When you are hungry
learn to eat
whatever sustains you
until morning
but do not be misled by details
simply because you live them.

Do not let your head deny
your hands
any memory of what passes through them
nor your eyes     nor your heart
everything can be used
except what is wasteful
(you will need to remember this
when you are accused of destruction).
Even when they are dangerous
examine the heart of those machines
which you hate
before you discard them
but do not mourn their lack of power
lest you be condemned
to relive them.

If you never learn to hate
you will never be lonely
enough     to love easily
nor will you always be brave
although it does not grow any easier.

Do not pretend to convenient beliefs
even when they are righteous
you will never be able to defend your city
while shouting

Remember     our sun
is not the most noteworthy star
only the nearest.

Respect whatever pain you bring back
from your dreaming
but do not look for new gods
in the sea
nor in any part of a rainbow.

Each time you love
love as deeply
as if it were
only nothing is

Speak proudly to your children
where ever you may find them
tell them
you are the offspring of slaves
and your mother was
a princess
in darkness.

Your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.
-President Barack Obama; Jan 20, 2009.