A Hymn for the Hurting*

I can’t pretend to know the pain of Uvalde, but I know the love. I can’t articulate my sorrow or my despair. But I know we all share in the responsibility.

I am profoundly grateful that Amanda Gorman put the words together for me.

***

Hymn for the Hurting -Amanda Gorman

Everything hurts,

Our hearts shadowed and strange,

Minds made muddied and mute.

We carry tragedy, terrifying and true.

And yet none of it is new;

We knew it as home,

As horror,

As heritage.

Even our children

Cannot be children,

Cannot be.

Everything hurts.

It’s a hard time to be alive,

And even harder to stay that way.

We’re burdened to live out these days,

While at the same time, blessed to outlive them.

This alarm is how we know

We must be altered —

That we must differ or die,

That we must triumph or try.

Thus while hate cannot be terminated,

It can be transformed

Into a love that lets us live.

May we not just grieve, but give:

May we not just ache, but act;

May our signed right to bear arms

Never blind our sight from shared harm;

May we choose our children over chaos.

May another innocent never be lost.

Maybe everything hurts,

Our hearts shadowed & strange.

But only when everything hurts

May everything change.

***
Amanda Gorman is a poet and the author of “The Hill We Climb,” “Call Us What We Carry” and “Change Sings.”

*New York Times OPINION GUEST ESSAY  -May 27, 2022

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