As 2013 wraps up, Colorado Matters asked Coloradans what made it a good year in their lives. Their responses helped inspire a poem by Colorado Matters poet David Rothman.
You can read about why 2013 was a good year here.
New Year Letter 2014
– for Xander Hurwitz
by David Rothman
Yet once more, Scotch in hand in dark December,
I come to do what poets do: remember.
A gloomy heart could not but become jolly
If what he sought this year were human folly:
Our legislative gridlock led to closing
Down our government; Snowden’s exposing
Of Big-Brother NSA surveillance
Tested even our staunch allies’ patience;
The bombing of the Boston Marathon
Taught us to fear boxers from Kyrgyzstan.
And while it’s foreign policy we’re on:
Think Syria, Westgate, Typhoon Haiyan…
Meanwhile, back here, Obamacare rolled out
All bungled, while our weather left no doubt
We are disaster’s child: the Boulder flood,
Black Forest Fire, twin plagues of ash and mud.
Then: recall votes, secession, a school shooting.
To frack or not to frack: is it polluting?
All these and more could serve as my mill’s grist,
Were I to play the year-end satirist.
But I’m not interested. Too obvious.
You’ve heard just now how this year Colorado’s
Young vineyards thrived, bliss for aficionados.
And Colorado art went like a rocket –
From Wonderbound, to indy rock, to Bach, it
Soon will take the snobby coasts by storm.
Some celebrate the new and legal norm
Of civil unions and of non-medicinal
Reef madness, while in science, our Mars mission, all
Systems go, was a success. Even
Our Demos and Republicans believe in
But further than these statewide stories go,
Smaller but deeper, just as true, there flow
The facts of how you thrived. You told us so.
Kirk Wilson found his calling in the dirt,
Became a farmer, salt sweat on his shirt,
To bring fresh, local produce to us all.
I’m going to find and eat that vegetable.
Emily Crawford spread her wings and flew,
Landed a new job and new parrot, Boo.
And last and greatest, Xander Hurwitz. Xander,
Your father told your story with such candor
That he has banished satire from the field.
This poem is for you, who made death yield.
Born injured, flight-for-lifed, you had to fight
For every minute every day and night,
For every minute every hour each week.
No news for you of nonsense adults wreak,
No news but those first things that have to matter:
Caring doctors, loving parents, water,
Food, light, hard work and love, true love, big love
Descending out of our flawed world above.
And now your parents write that you are fine,
Intelligent, engaged and happy, sign
After sign appearing that you will
Grow into more good life and dreams fulfill.
Xander, listen. You have kept me honest,
Helped me remember this dark winter’s day
That tenderness can be news too, that we
Can make it happen, like a good pianist,
Who knows when she should strike a thundering chord,
But also how the gentle touch is scored.
Friends – spring’s not far. Let’s put away our blues.
Give thanks. Work hard. Keep trying. Pay our dues.
It’s New Year’s Eve. Put on those dancing shoes.