from On the Pulse of Morning Maya Angelou 1993

Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare

Praying for a dream.

Here, root yourselves beside me.

I am that Tree planted by the River,

Which will not be moved.

I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree

I am yours-- your passages have been paid.

Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need

For this bright morning dawning for you.

History, despite its wrenching pain,

Cannot be unlived, and if faced

With courage, need not be lived again.

 

Lift up your eyes upon

This day breaking for you.

Give birth again

To the dream.

 

Women, children, men,

Take it into the palms of your hands.

Mold it into the shape of your most

Private need. Sculpt it into

The image of your most public self.

Lift up your hearts.

Each new hour holds new chances

For a new beginning.

Do not be wedded forever

To fear, yoked eternally

To brutishness.

 

The horizon leans forward,

Offering you space to place new steps of change. Here, on the pulse of this fine day

You may have the courage

To look up and out upon me,

The Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

No less to Midas than the mendicant.

No less to you now than the mastodon then.

 

Here on the pulse of this new day

You may have the grace to look up and out

And into your sister's eyes,

Into your brother's face, your country

And say simply

Very simply

With hope

Good morning.

Maya Angelou from On the Pulse of Morning 1993