They walked in tandem,
each of the ninety-three students
the already crowded auditorium.
With rich maroon gowns flowing and the traditional caps,
looked almost as grown up as they felt.
Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles,
and moms freely brushed away tears.
This class would not pray during the commencements -
choice but because of
a recent court ruling prohibiting it.
The principal and several students were careful
to stay within the guidelines
allowed by the ruling.
They gave inspirational and challenging speeches,
but no one
mentioned divine guidance
and no one asked for blessings
on the graduates or
The speeches were nice,
but they were routine until the final
that received a standing ovation.
It was then that a solitary student walked proudly
He stood still and
silent for just a moment,
and then he delivered his speech -
The rest of the students rose immediately to their feet,
and in unison
"God bless you,"
The audience exploded into applause.
The graduating class
to invoke God's blessing on their
with or without the court's approval.