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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

It's Only a Place

January 6, 2021

It's only a place

that sits on a hill,

shines white in the morning

and pink toward evening.

It's only a place.

Wood and cement,

windows and doors,

walls and ceilings,

marble and tiles.

So why am I crying?

It's only a place.

its walls witnessing

the words of the people,

thousands of speeches,

countless ideas

arguments reverberating

and echoing through its halls.

So why do I stare in disbelief?

It's only a place,

a bookmark of our history,

shimmering with our successes

stained deeply by our failures

A place that

lives and breathes with ideas

Freedom is its oxygen

Debate is the blood that runs

through its veins

Democracy the skeleton

that strengthens it.

It stands witness to our achievements

but also to our shame.

The People's House

It's only a place

Its walls mirror our history

its doors open to

lofty ideals

which broke with the past

Its floors have met

the footsteps of patriots,

the strides of the ordinary,


and sometime the extraordinary.

Its walls have embraced

those who serve and those who give,

those who see the future and

help us to get there.

Its windows gaze from the past

far into our future

A witness to history as it unfurls.

It's only a place

Imperfect, but it is ours.

Built by dreamers so we

can continue to dream.

Nothing can erase these walls.

Nothing can break these doors.

Nothing can shatter these windows.

They are but wood,

they are but glass.

Ideas cannot be erased

and cannot be sullied.

This place cannot be broken

It's only a place but

it's the heart of our past

and the hope our future.

A house on The Hill

still being built

The soul of an imperfect nation

(Capitol photograph from Getty Images)

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