“Get Well Soon :)”
Once steady hands now faltering from your fall,
this hand that penned mountains, sung through ferry waters, hewn rough earth boys, their bodies taken by war as your body has taken you.
You, the kosmos, can not be taken by such human failings.
Calamus cane in hand, stand erect, your perpetual journey is still left to tramp.
Your America is orphaned without your voice, your body; without your arms to encircle her.
You shall yet whisper your secrets in my ear, leaning on my shoulder should you need it.
Comrade, let me now take your hand and show you what you have shown me.
—Jessica and Erin
“Rise o Dancers from your Courtyard Plaza”
Rise o dancers from your courtyard plaza, till you stomping, snapping, spin,
Sidelong my eyes devoured what your practice gave me,
Long I roamed the streets of DC, long I watched the rain pouring,
I traveled Walt Whitman Way and slept in the seats of Ford’s Theatre, I crossed the streets, I jumped the puddles,
I descended to the secret tunnel and sail’d out to the Metro,
I sailed through the storm, I was soaked by the storm,
I watched with joy Chelsea threatening Sam
I mark’d the water lines where puddles splashed so high,
I heard the wind piping, I saw the black clouds,
Saw from afar what thrilled and moonwalked (O hilarious! O ridiculous as my heart, and
Heard the continuous beat as it bellowed over the car horns.
—Brendon and Sam K.
“O Wondrous Washington!”
O wondrous Washington!
City of rain and wind,
You drench us in amorous drops;
Our limbs move weary in recycled steps—
O wretched limbs!
Let us deliciously journey
And see your scribbled ink,
And feel the buzz of your presence,
And read the immortal words,
And rattle our frames with splendid, tattered images,
And depart limp and satiated.
O to find you and taste fully of your knowledge!
Wet lips, wet shoes, wet hair—
Wondrous, enriched fatigue.
–Allison and Sarah
On Sunken Road I heard the calls of soldiers past—
O, Sergeant Richard Kirkland, you cradle one, my brother comrade, I could have sworn you were an angel watching me from your periphery, adoring.
It being the real, still-standing portion of the wall, I imagine the sons of the nation, and also the daughters, facing each other, their hearts join’d as joints of a wall by perforation;
Limbs erect as the rifles readied by their masters to unroot the Calamus,
I walk’d the gravel path with Kirkland, Lee, Whitman—fearless of intolerant rebels who might flank the figures of my mind:
White opposition approaches—a different union entire.
—Meghan, Virginia, and Natalie
I sing the now-pav’d road which underneath my soles spanned the nubbed monument to the beds of delicate soldiers,
Where my callous hands soothed wounds from a war of brother against brother,
The road, infinite, wandering past Georgetown and the Potomac and the garbage eating pigs
And the mud and Andrew Jackson airing laundry and the doors of Saint John’s church looking out onto the White Mansion and the canals, and the old warriors walking five stories for one month’s check, and the theatre where my brother, my comrade, fell and spoke no more
Oh road now pav’d over blood! Pav’d over me! I trod your streets once known in dirt
you conceal me, can I learn your roads once more?
—Chelsea and Ben