Jean Colonomosâ daughter, Ms. Sarah Rassey
For the first time in 4 years, I wake up with trust in the government and in President, Joseph R. Biden and VicePresident, Kamala Harris who will no longer beat up democracy the way 45, the Republican religious right extremists in the House and Senate, the cabinet and other government officials have done. I feel free to say have a good day and mean it, though weâre not out of the coronavirus woods. Revenge at the ballot box, YES!
January 20, 2021
I begin to cry when I listen and watch the color guard play to open the inaugurationâs ceremony. I continue when Chief Justice Roberts swears in Joseph R. Biden, this emotional, empathic Irishman, whoâs our President and the best person for the job. Tears of joy, tears of relief when Latina Justice Sonia Sotomayor swears in South Asian, African American Vice-President, Kamala Harris, a symbol of unity of Americaâs multiraces, in her bright purple coat, the color of divinity.
And, oh, the fashionâ
Senator Klobuchar in bright yellow, the color of enlightenment, Dr. Jill Biden in Matisse blue, the color of inspiration, Harris in purple, the magnificent Michelle Obama in a dramatic maroon ensemble, and poet Amanda Corman in a bright yellow coat and shiny red headband as she swept us away with her electrifying poem, âThe Hill We Climb,â that blended Americaâs past and future.
Biden signed 17 executive orders today. Among them, a requirement of employees to wear masks on all federal property; rejoined the World Health Organization; bolstered protection for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for children known as Dreamers; revoking the Trump order to exclude noncitizens from the census count; ended whatâshisnameâs Muslim ban; stopped construction on the border wall; rejoined the Paris climate accords; ended 45âs administrationâs 1776 distorted report about the role of slavery; required all in his administration to sign ethics pledges.
Jennyâs poem: My Mind at Play //What made me pick/up my pencils and write?/What was poking me?/ Floating thoughts waiting to be captured?/ Objects waiting to be seen?/ A punch line waiting for/a lead-in? What a gentle exercise in/arranging my sentences,/saying them out loud in/my head, and then enjoying/ what I was hearing.
Donald Trumpâs legacy of murders: 410,403 coronavirus deaths and since July 2020 oversaw the executions of 13 death row inmates. âWeâd have to go back to 1896 to find another year where there were 10 or more executions, Ms. Ndulue, a former Senior Director of Criminal Justice Programs at the national NAACP, said.
NY Times, Dan Barry: My daughter, Sarahâs, interview in Lincoln Park, Chicago: âSarah Rassey, 40, made plans to watch the inauguration with her daughter, Madeleine, who also happened to be turning 5. âI feel lighter,â Ms. Rassey said of Mr. Bidenâs presidency. âIâm just grateful, relieved, happyâand honestly, Iâve been crying tears of joy since last night.ââ
What about South Carolinaâs Lindsey Graham and other senators who say, âTo impeach Trump is to invite more violence?â What about Republicans carrying guns who push past the magnetometers at the House Chamberâs entrance to prevent guns from being brought in? Coloradoâs Lauren Boebert ââŚhas said that she should be able to carry her Glock onto the floor of the House.â (New Yorker magazine, 1/25/21, Amy Davidson Sorkin.) Total U.S COVID-19 cases: 24 million plus.
Thank you, Ashley Abrams, Community Library Manager; Crystabella Harding, Childrenâs Librarian; Craig Fischer, Adult/Teen Librarian; Library Aides, Pages, and Jenni Klemp, Friends of the Library. Thank you for your virtual events and access to books with safety measures in place that keep our Topanga community going. And more thanks for your support of Loose Lips whose co-hosts, poets Millicent Borges Accardi and yours truly, produce four poetry events a year. Though due to COVID-19, these gatherings have been suspended but weâre looking forward to partnering with the library to bring Loose Lips online. These poetry events are generously supported by donors and Poets & Writers who provide matching grants for featured readers.
January 22 Sheila, Bloomsbury Books, Ashland, OR, from 1/21/21: When Sheila called me around, she was so excited., âI got my first COVID-19 vaccine!â Her doctor told her to go to the Jackson County Fairgrounds because, though the day was for frontline workers, not as many showed up as expected. Since itâs the Pfizer vaccine, it requires a freezer and will thaw after a few hours. âI waited an hour in the car, then someone dressed from head to toe in safety gear, gave me the shot. I was observed for fifteen minutes and then told to register for my 2nd shot in 3 weeksâ She said her arm was a bit sore and two days later she was fatigued. Next day, my dear friend was fine.
Epilogue : Excerpt from Amanda Gormanâs poem read at the inauguration,âThe Hill We Climb://âŚFor there is always light. If only weâre brave enough to see it, if only weâre brave enough to be it.â