MLK & me

a long winter’s nap…

oh, that i, capped in my knit hat, could in this cold bed, sleep and sleep and sleep, until spring

until that day when this long dark night of democracy, so strangled of breath and warmth and light, finally flowers in fulfillment of its promise.

but wouldn’t i, in my sleeping, neglect all this sewing of love; and don’t i want to be a seamstress of our democracy? like the stories of Betsy Ross my father told, hoping to lend some icon of inspiration to his eager daughter in a world that offered her none

we lived just down the block from the liberty bell and independence hall where the declaration of our equal nation took flight without a single woman or man of other recognized

how too might i have lent my voice to jefferson’s pen?

my people, also called Jefferson, settled in this nation, before it was one.

my great-grandmother, who danced at my wedding, was born without the vote, without the seed of what it means to be a nation of the people instead of the pocketbook

her name, mildred, like frances mcdormand on the screen of three billboards, causes me to wonder, if we, like her fierce character, need to fight

or will you finally fight for us, while we tend your sickbed, and sew your flags, and nourish your babes, as if we were and have always been and will always be without dreams of our own



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