Here's the poem I wrote for that inaugural ode contest:
To This America, Our America
The stars are hidden in the indigo
depths of this long night. We live in winter
yet now the light arrives earlier
every morning. We have come this far.
We know the wind blows hard. We know
the swirl of flood, the mud and loss it leaves.
We see the ghosts of our dead in the dreams
of our children. We have come this far,
and we are turning to the sun, turning
to each other, to feed and shelter our people,
to bury our lost with honor. We rise
to change, with joy that we have come this far
and seek to lead the world in learning how
to live with one another. Yes, we can—
together we have come this far
and we are walking onward into hope.