04 April 2011

A poem for MLK's assassination

HE SPOKE slowly, measuring the words to the occasion,
and the people of that river city listened.

MEN FOUGHT halfway across the world, for a cause
that flagged in their own land;

WE READ of a stuttering prophet, struggling
to perfect his nation in the wilderness.

A BABE in basket of reeds floated past the city
called Enduring and Beautiful.[1]

FEAR GRIPPED this city on the day of plagues--
its native pomp and imperial splendour
bleeding out, to be gone in a week.

STEAMBOATS PUSHED the waters of the city reincarnate,
carrying cotton and slaves.

DREAD GRIPPED the city on the day of disaster--
hundreds consumed in a floating furnace.[2]

MEN MARCHED eleven decades later,
maintaining their dignity.

HE STOOD on a hotel balcony,
happy and relieved.

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