by Michelle Jewell

Rise: To assume an upright position especially from lying, kneeling or sitting.

Stand proud, my friends.

For we have not come to the end.

No, indeed.

It is the beginning of our investment in the fight, in the need

that we are compelled to feed, to combat the greed

and water the seed

that we have planted

which allows our children to refuse to lie placid, sit idle, kneel

without cause.

We are rising.

Rise: To take up arms.

What shall we do to defend the souls who cannot defend themselves?

Whose choices were withheld, placed by others on the shelves

of history to be remembered in times of fear and strife,

because they gave their life

in a war they did not ask for.

What shall we do? Do we use violence or intelligence?

Guns or common sense?

Hatred or love? We must rise above

the desire for vengeance and promote the eloquence in our being.

Hatred is easy. Love is hard. Weapons of peace will catch them off-guard.

They should….

but they will not see us coming.

We are rising.

Rise: To become heartened or elated.

Do not let your spirit deflate and negate

Who You Are.

Your heart is pure and strong. Hold tight to your place in the throng.

You belong.

You are worthy.

We are rising.

Rise: To move upward, ascend. To increase in height, size, volume or pitch.

Can you feel it? The swell slowly building,

welcoming in new thoughts and new faces, each who embraces

a calmer existence. An equal platform. A better world.

Each time we speak out, each new idea formed,

each birth that is given to a path not the norm

We are rising.

Rise: To exert oneself to meet a challenge.

No goal is achieved, no lie mis-believed, no welcome received

without the pouring out of life in all its forms.

We come prepared.

With ideas, with education, with art, with music, with dance, with family, with community, we dare to see the monster and

stare it square in its ugly face. We are members of the human race.

We are rising.

Rise: To attain a higher level or rank.

We are not who they wish us to be. Quiet and meek, afraid to speak

out against injustice. Against hatred. Against exclusion.

We lend our voices to the choir of change for to remain

“here” is untenable.

We lift each other, hand over hand, back over back,

across the mountains that have obscured our view,

the lies that have become our label.

Once denied the door, we have secured seats at the table.

We are rising.

Rise: To appear above the horizon.

We must transcend the horrors of our past – and present.

Our duty is to be bold and magnificent.

To claim our place among the reticent

who do not know that they need us.

The light that shines on our face reflects back onto our race

against time that threatens our space. But we embrace

what awaits.

We are rising.

Rise: To come into being.

And when our work here is done, when we behold the brilliant sun

while we hold open the door for those who carry on,

Our souls will be satisfied.

Having given our best, passed the hardest test, and now come to rest

in the truth that we have always known.

We are here.

We belong.

We are worthy.

We have risen.


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