Shackles are broken.
Walls have fallen.
Doors have opened;
It took one hand.

One black hand
reached out to other hands
of every age and colour;
held them in his own.

One frigid winter day,
hope hanging in the air;
One black hand
pledged an oath,
laid one brick;
laid the new path.

But one hand
cannot break apart
ten thousand shackles,
rebuild two towers,
hold the weight
of the world.

Not one hand.
Not one man.

Photo: U.S. President Barack Obama Takes His Oath, public domain image

Written by Heather Grace Stewart

Heather Grace Stewart is the author of the romantic comedy novels Remarkably Great (2015) Strangely, Incredibly Good (2014), the screenplay The Friends I've Never Met (2012), four poetry collections, 'Three Spaces' 'Carry On Dancing' (Winter Goose Publishing, March 2012) 'Leap,' (2010) and 'Where the Butterflies Go, (2008) 'The Groovy Granny' (poems for kids 4-104) and two non-fiction political books for youth (Jackfruit Press). A member of the Writers Union of Canada, she lives with her family in Montreal, Canada.


  1. Interesting juxtaposition of words and image. Made me think of “Footprints” (I’m strange, I know). I especially like the last two stanzas.


  2. Stanzas 1 to 3: yes, yes.

    Stanzas 4 and 5: i’m not so sure.

    For want of a nail… etc. The lack of one man (even though it could have been a different man or woman, but i mean the lack of this man’s approach) has led to such a lot of negatives – let’s hope the presence of that man is the start of enough positives to outweigh them.


What did you think? I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s