Richard Blanco’s inaugural poem, “One Today,” chronicled a day in the life of average Americans, which for many of us center around our jobs. The poem heralds those who “clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives,” as well as people like Blanco’s Cuban immigrant father who hands were worn from “cutting sugarcane so my brother and I could have books and shoes.” The poem intermingled Blanco’s personal experience with the typical American experience, subtly making the point that the demographics of our nation have become more diverse. The last stanza of “One Today” carried the theme of Obama’s inaugural address that “Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.”
We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always—home,
always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country—all of us—
facing the stars
hope—a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it—together.
Bravo, Poet Blanco!
The full text of the poem can be found here.