Richard Blanco has written a new poem for America.

The part-time Maine resident and inaugural poet at former President Barack Obama’s second inauguration published a new poem on the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration that celebrates the diversity of America and the power of coming together as a community “to fulfill the promise of being one people.”

Blanco, who lives in Bethel, published “Declaration of Inter-Dependence” on the poetry website Split This Rock.

The seven-stanza poem portrays Americans working two jobs, struggling against oppression and unable to “mine a life anymore in a town where too much, too little has happened, for too long.”

It also sees the goodness in community, the reward of kindness and the strength of standing together and speaking up:

“We’re the living who light vigil candles and the cop who didn’t shoot. We’re the inmate with his volunteer teacher diagramming sentences, the Buddhist alongside the stockbroker serving soup at a shelter. We’re the grandfather taking a selfie with his grandson and his husband, the widow’s fifty cents in the collection plate and the golfer’s ten-thousand-dollar pledge for a cure.”


Blanco delivered the poem “One Today”for Obama’s 2013 inauguration, and returned home to Maine that winter to read the poem at Merrill Auditorium.

He was the first Latino, immigrant and gay person to serve as inaugural poet. He was born in Madrid to Cuban exiles and raised in Miami.

When the United States reopened its embassy in Havana, Cuba, in 2015, Blanco wrote a poem reconciling his split loyalties and heritage between Cuba and America, and delivered it at the opening.

Bob Keyes can be contacted at:

[email protected]

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