SELMA, 1965

Amid the ghosts of civil rights marchers
in Selma
in the summer so hot,
the children sang in the paths
of the afternoon showers,
"Before I'd be a slave,
I'd be buried in my grave. ...
From the freedom school window
We watched them come
across the lawns of the housing projects
down the rain-rutted dirt roads,
through the puddles waiting cool for bare feet.
(Touch the dripping bush, break a leaf and smell
the pungency of green.)
They were tattered angels of hope,
plaits caught at odd angles
and standing indignantly,
a ripped hem hanging like a train,
grey knees poking through denim frames.
Dancing the whole trip,
they performed their historic drama
against the set of their
wet brick project homes.

Copyright © Gloria House, all rights reserverd.

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