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Chair of the Department of English, Writing & Communication Monique-Adelle Callahan, Ph.D. penned a powerful poem for the April 14 Inauguration Ceremony of Emmanuel College President Dr. Mary K. Boyd.

Ode to Again Beginning

Emmanuel, we began at the end
of a century, in the year of molasses floods
and influenza. We began, nevertheless,
here, where a mother whispers her dreams
as her daughter sleeps. Like this child,
we know what it is to be born
out of dis-ease. The woman rises and begins
bending the tender pine into a curvature
that will bind needle to needle. Her basket
will hold the weight of the day,
with each weave of pine, encircled taut
in an impenetrable art; the stone holds
at the center. This, Emmanuel,
is time; as history holds at the center
the future curves itself around us
in infinite circles. Let the sinew thread
of our vision wrap us together,
a co-ordinate bond of past and present.
It is a changing, a catalytic cracking.
It is you, Emmanuel,
who we inaugurate afresh. It is
to you, President Mary K. Boyd,
that we say—forge fearlessly,
build boldly, lead limitlessly,
create courageously, dream daringly.
Now, let us begin again as we began.
Now, in the year of endemic and wildfire,
tornadoes and war, let us be
again reborn. Let us weave together
now our voices, Emmanuel,
Emmanuel, Emmanuel…
and let the sound of us
carry the weight of this day
into the days to come.

Dr. Callahan's book of poetry, Rupture, will be published in September from Codhill Press.