This poem was spoken by Valarie Kaun on November 9, 2016:
In our tears and agony, we hold our children close and confront the truth: The future is dark.
But my faith dares me to ask:
What if the darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?
What if our America is not dead but a country still waiting to be born? What if the story of America is one long labor?
What if all mothers who came before us, who survived genocide and occupation, slavery, and Jim Crow, racism and xenophobia and Islamophobia, political oppression and sexual assault, are standing behind us now, whispering in our ear: You are brave. What if this is our Great Contradiction before we birth the future?
Remember the wisdom of the midwife: “Breathe,” she says. Then “Push.”
Now it is time to breathe. But soon, it will be time to push; soon it will be time to fight – for those we love – Muslim father, Sikh son, trans daughter, indigenous brother, immigrant sister, white worker, the poor and forgotten, and, yes, the ones who cast their vote out of resentment and fear.
Let us make an oath to fight for the soul of America – “the land that never has been yet – And yet must be.” (Lanston Hughes)
The Revolutionary Love and relentless optimism.
And so I pray this Sikh prayer:
“In the name of the Divine, in the name of Love within us and around us, we find everlasting optimism.
With your will, may there be grace for all humanity.”