"On the Inauguration of Transylvania's Twenty-fifth President"
What lies beyond does not duplicate
the past - the acts, the words,
the regimental flags and willow work
that sketch at best a semblance
of our former selves. Instead, here,
we reclaim what we can, the gist
of who we were, landmarks on the map
of our shared journey, the rivers
into which our own rivulets
and branches feed. Here the waters
gather as a single stream
whose current holds the sum
of our accumulated past -
a richness whose legacy is our future,
a stream where lives are not so much
steered as readied to venture and extend.
So we enter into sunlight
to estimate the past and shape what lies ahead,
not as we color it in myth or fiction,
not to worship, but simply to know it
as it was so much as we can know it,
and in knowing offer clues
to who we were, we are, we will be.
Richard Taylor is the Kenan Visiting Writer at Transylvania and Former Poet Laureate of Kentucky.