A Poem for My People Dead in Sharpesville Town: You Took A Walk

I took a walk yesterday, not something I had not before. But this walk, this walk, was different. Twas the walk of a soldier going to war. No gun in my hand, no bullets in a magazine. Just armed with a sign and a will to live and a belief that is what human life was supposed to be. I wasn’t trying to be a hero, and I didn’t consider myself all that brave. But I knew that I had to stand up to prevent them from always saying sit back and making me feel like a slave. A pass card for this, a permit for that. Had to ask permission, permission it seems to be human, if you were labeled “black.” When I got there I saw other soldiers, but they were unlike me. Because they were not about freedom, and they were not about humanity. And so they fired and I ran, straight into eternity. But I could go knowing that my children would follow me. For I would send them a gift from far beyond the veil, of liberation from the pain and misery of their lives bought for sale. And so my blood does still call from the fields of Sharpesville town, for my blood has watered these fruits of liberty so that you might stand on more solid ground. You don’t know my name, wouldn’t recognize my face, and though the color of my skin was dark, that did not determine my place. I am your brother sister human and I did walk the land, and I though I die I die as I live human woman, brother, sister, friend, father, man.

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