It's all beginning to make sense now—
the Dove's descent at Christ's baptism
in the River Jordan, bringing in the new
Piscean Age— Noah sending his dove from

the Ark to find dry land after the Flood—
Jason unleashing the dove flying through
the Clashing Rocks so his Argonaut's ship
could voyage on to find the Golden Fleece.

Suddenly everything dovetailed—
Columbus discovering America,
his name Columba, Latin for dove,
the bird of discovery— the New World.

My four college years at Columbia—
living in Livingston Hall, dining in
John Jay Hall, named after founding fathers
whom I just learned were early Freemasons.

Is that Lady Freedom, Columbia atop
the Capitol Building in Washingtion—
the District of Columbia? Who planned all
this— George Washington & Ben Franklin?

No wonder Lincoln said "that this nation,
under God, shall have a new birth of freedom"

for this statue was lifted atop the dome
22 days after his Gettysburg Address.

And Poet Laureate Rita Dove reads
her poem Lady Freedom Among Us
at the U.S. Capitol Bicentennial with
Freedom Statue restored on the dome.

Did 9-11 strike us a mortal wound?
Is the American nation in decline—
the Columbine and Columbia disasters,
our liberty and freedom now at stake?

It's dawning on me— our crossroad is here—
the dove— ancient symbol from bygone eras,
the dove— new word born on the poet's page—
Emily's “Courage! My brave Columba!”

and Guthrie's song Roll on Columbia
Your power turning our darkness to dawn
May the Great Spirit come and bless us
to soar onward and upward to the stars

              — Peter Y. Chou
                   Mountain View, 1-16-2006

                   Notes to Poem