Dear Hillary by Ayala Emmett

In my garden
In my garden

Last night at the Children’s Defense Gala you were honored for your lifelong work on behalf of children. It was, as you said, very difficult for you to come. But you showed up and told us that we matter.  So in my garden I still have your 2016 campaign sign, a reminder of what really matters.

We, the people who supported you want you to know that in the coming years as we face serious challenges we will recall your tireless work here and around the world for women’s rights that is human rights. We will continue your fight for justice. We will show compassion and do for you what you would have liked to do for your mother when she, a frightened child at age 8 was sent away on a train to an unknown future. We will hug her/you and tell you that your name is already inscribed on the distinguished list of the finest world leaders who care about humanity and respect human rights. On the campaign trail you said that you spoke in prose, yet your lifework for human rights is remarkably poetic.

Millions of us applaud you for the courage and compassion you displayed last night when you told us, “Stay engaged at every level. America needs you, your energy, your ambition, your talent. That is how we get through this.” We are grateful that you gave us the opportunity to vote for the first time for a woman president nominated by a major political party. We were joyous when, here in upstate New York, on Election Day we could tell Susan B. Anthony that this country has finally given women full citizenship.

We were heartbroken to tell the woman who gave us the vote and generations of women who fought for women’s rights that the one who lost the popular vote would be president because of our system of the Electoral College.

Hillary, you won the popular vote by over one million and still counting. It is a major, incredible unprecedented victory in the modern history of American presidential politics.

Marian Wright Edelman called you last night the People’s President.  For the sheer joy of it, we keep an eye on the growing popular vote. In the meantime I will leave your campaign sign in my garden.