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.
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.
MEN MARCHED eleven decades later,
maintaining their dignity.
HE STOOD on a hotel balcony,
happy and relieved.