Had Been There
have too much at stake to hesitate." -- Thomas Paine,
The Crisis, Number IV, Philadelphia, Sept. 12, 1777
morse code, semaphoring
change invested with memory,
I greet the 21st century --
gifted by a spirit of unity from the past
I can admire with only partial comprehension.
When did I ever have to fight:
for the right to speak out,
to write the truth,
to live my life the way I choose?
No barriers litter the branching road
of my choices; no interference blunts
my decisions, right or wrong.
I vote my conscience, but I wonder:
Would I have been willing to risk
the next breath for an idea of freedom?
Would I have joined the fateful actions
of my ancestors or stood aside
to watch in comparative safety?
The thought of America
(so stunning, so vibrant)
surprises me with its force
unchanged by time, irony,
cynicism, or the debate of honest men.
The truth of what happened
inhabits an energy that resonates
in my heart: That vision,
that America, that beautiful dream.
I like to believe that I would
have loved liberty enough
if I had been there.
2000 Karen Thompson
I Had Been There
the Evelyn Cole Peters Poetry Award, the top national literary
award of the National Society of the Daughters of the American
Revolution (NSDAR) American Heritage Literature and Drama Contest
for 2000. I consider it an honor to have received this award
from the NSDAR American Heritage Committee, and I'm very proud
to be a member of the NSDAR (and a chapter member of the Joseph
in Hendersonville, North Carolina
-- and to be part of the NSDAR's worthy endeavors on behalf of
children and education. If you would like to find out more about
the work of the NSDAR in America today, please follow the link
below to the Society's home page."
Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR)
to K's World