Amanda Gorman, the youngest poet to read at the inauguration in recent history and the first national youth poet laureate, read her poem “The Hill We Climb,” following Biden’s inaugural address.

“We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it, would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy,” she said. “And this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.”

“When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid,” she added at the end of the poem. “The new dawn blooms as we free it for there is always light if only, we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.

Gorman, 22, told NPR that she finished writing the poem just after rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.