We Remember

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

The Funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr.
~Nikki Giovanni 

This is a sacred poem…blood has been shed to consecrate it …
wash your hands…remove your shoes…bow your head
… I … I … I Have a Dream

That was a magical time … Hi Ho Silver Away …
Oh Cisco/Oh Pancho … Here I Come To Save The Day …
I want the World to see what they did to my boy …
No No No I’m not going to move … If we are Wrong …
then the Constitution of the United States is Wrong
… Montgomery … Birmingham … Selma … Four little Girls …
Constant Threats … Constant Harassment … Constant Fear …
SCLC … Ralph and Martin … Father Knows Best …
Leave It To Beaver … ED SULLIVAN … How Long … Not Long

But what … Mr. Thoreau said to Mr. Emerson … are you doing out?

This is a Letter from Birmingham City Jail …
This is a eulogy for Albany … This is a water hose for Anniston …
This is a Thank You to Diane Nash …
This is a flag for James Farmer …
This is a HowCanIMakeItWithoutYou to Ella Baker …
This is for the red clay of Georgia that yielded black men of courage …
black men of vision … black men of hope …
bent over cotton … or sweet potatoes … or pool tables and
baseball diamonds … playing for a chance to live free and
breathe easy and have enough money to take care of
the folks they love … This is Why We Can’t Wait

That swirling Mississippi wind … the Alabama pine …
that Tennessee dust defiling the clothes the women washed …
thosehotwinds … the lemonade couldn’t cool …
that let the women know … we too must overcome …
this is for Fannie Lou Hamer … Jo Ann Robinson …
Septima Clark…Daisy Bates … All the women who said
Baby Baby Baby I know you didn’t mean to lose your job …
I know you didn’t mean to hit me …
I know the Lord is going to make a way …
I know I’m Leaning On The Everlasting Arms

How much pressure … does the Earth exert on carbon …
to make a diamond … How long does the soil push against the flesh …
molding … molding … molding the moan that becomes a cry that
bursts forth crystalline … unbreakable … priceless … incomparable Martin …
I Made My Vow To The Lord That I Never Would Turn Back …
How much pressure do the sins of the world press
against the heart of a man who becomes the voice of his people …
He should have had a tattoo, you know … Freedom Now …
or something like that … should have braided his hair …
carried his pool cue in a mahogany case …
wafted that wonderful laugh over a plate of skillet fried chicken …
drop biscuits … dandelion greens on the side

This is a sacred poem … open your arms … turn your palms up …
feel the Spirit of Greatness … and be redeemed.

more pics from the Lorraine Hotel

-nah

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