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Inaugural Poem: The Last Wall

Theater major John Glen Vandermark recited "The Last Wall," a poem that English major Clare Welsh wrote as an Inauguration gift to President Driscoll on behalf of all graduate and undergraduate students and their families.

The Last Wall

By Ms. Clare Welsh

You’re not walking home. It’s too late
to return to the place you came from. Such a feat
would be impossible, anyway. Soon the road you are following
will disappear. The stranger whistling
on the wall that divides this step from the next
is a dark silhouette against a darker night. His leg
is a swinging pendulum that doesn’t keep time
or music or anything more
than this moment. The whistling stranger will become
your closest friend, offering you a journey
palms up, in the way one offers an oak seed. The paradox
of the acorn is that its smooth, generous shell
is capped with a sharp point. The point is a compass needle.
Follow it. It will bring you close to the sun. The shell
is a capsule for roots. They are a reminder of where you
came from, the dirt and death that is every living thing.
Take the stranger’s hand. The air is crisp and spicy
and there are no more roads
or loneliness. You’ve scaled the last wall. This old
landmark is a mountain to stand on, a stage
for your music in the red morning. You are new
and my God you are here. Don’t blink. Don’t let go
of this giddy light. The sun is in your eyes.

Clare Welsh on stage at the Inauguration of Michael A. Driscoll

Clare Welsh on stage at the Inauguration of Michael A. Driscoll

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