– For John Lewis
This piece was inspired by John Lewis. I started it in early January while watching a program about him. There’s a refrain that I removed but plan to include it as I revise the poem. I wanted to share at least one of my own pieces this month so here it is. As always, I hope you enjoy.
Picture courtesy of wnyc.org
The price paid for
Was blood, sweat and family.
It was water hoses, German shepherd attacks, lynchings, beatings and bombs.
Burned crosses, denial of rights, spit, nighsticks, and below human standards.
Between Reconstruction and Jim Crow
Liberation was like
The soil of Africa
Burning inside but too far away to grasp.
For The American Negro
Liberty wasn’t represented by a statue
It demanded dedication, bodies mutilated, burned and buried in earthen dams or rivers
You couldn’t cry freedom
And expect it to hurry to your side.
You couldn’t get it without Harriet, Anna, Ida, and Angela
Or Marcus, W.E.B, Medgar and Malcolm.
Good trouble paved the way for the freedoms we take for granted today.