Carmen Tafolla reads her poem at a podium. In the background is an "SA2020" banner with colored icons representing the Cause Areas
Carmen Tafolla reading on May 19, 2012

“Do It”, A 2012 Poem by Carmen Tafolla

On May 19, 2012, SA2020 shifted from the name of a community visioning process to the name of our nonprofit that drives progress toward a shared Community Vision. That means that today marks nine years (!) since the launch that put San Antonio on the path to be the only large city in the country with: a shared Community Vision, more than 170 multi-sector institutions aligning their work to that vision, and an independent nonprofit holding institutions accountable to shared goals. To celebrate, we’re looking back on a poem that San Antonio’s then-Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla wrote and read for the launch on May 19, 2012. Nine years later, it still serves as a beautiful reminder of the shared vision San Antonians created together and the work committed to reaching it—”brick by brick, stone by stone, law by law, life by life.”

Do It

Carmen Tafolla, May 2012

a whisper of algo posible

a breath of dream

a shadow of vision

a twilit profile

of some possible future

Could we visualize?

Could we even

hope?

Could we put into daring words

our unborn yearnings

our unwritten goals

pale sprouts of wishes

not yet rooted enough

to have claimed their soil?

The meetings were set

for a building so large

we feared it would be half-empty

But the people came

and they came

and they came

arriving eagerly in cars and on bikes

in wheelchairs and on foot

by bus and by word of mouth

till the building overflowed

and a second space was needed,

absorbed the filling to the brim

Where CEOs met Homeless,

both passionate about the yearnings of their souls

and the beauty of their goals

Educators and Information Specialists

Environmentalists and Engineers

Historical Preservers and Advocates for Health

Parents of Young Children, Senior Citizens

Artists, Office Workers, Road Builders, Civil Rights Defenders

Guardians carving a sacred protection

gently, bravely, insisting on the possible

“PLEASE build everything Green, or not at all,” they said,

“Education is the Key that opens ALL the doors,” they said

“Fearless Innovation,” they said

“More Parks”, “Better Roads”

“Protect the People”

“Build it, Dream It, See it –

Big.

Clean.

Smart.”

Our pleas and plans waited  –

breathless,  carefully anointed.

Where Art students displayed their painted treasures

and the community college Jazz Band teased our ears, our lives

Where Travis High students wore placards that shouted

“Ask me about MY College Plans”

and a chanting chorus of 5th graders

performed the power of multiplication.

Where the homeless made the sandwiches for the meeting

Where the dreamers scribbled the questions for the next agenda

and the next

and the next

for a year of Dream It, Map It,

Dream It, Map It

*          *          *          *

Now the seed of an idea grows tall,

the sweep of its cool shade consuming us

The dreaming, the mapping

become something we can ALMOST touch…

a passion stirs us

a possibility

a new surge of hope

From so many divergent paths

these people, the people of our pueblo

joined only by a vision

for a new world

one city, one family, many colors, many chords

Each meeting –a bold step forward on the path,

a new note in this symphony

of voices

all whispering, murmuring, drumming, shouting,

pulsing from their veins

the common, unspoken prayer

Just Do it

Do it

Do-o-o-o

It-t-t-t

Make It Come–brick by brick, stone by stone, law by law

life by life,

doors opening wide like the sunrise,

opening our eyes till at last, we see

what we CAN touch

what we WILL

reach.

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