FOR DAVID WILLIAMS


 

I can still say I remember.  Not that recollecting frees me.

No way that reliving cares a fiddly-squat fit to get good back.

 

It was a plan that I do not get, certainly not yet,

That separate but equal rule.  We were

 

Just boys, one white, one black, Shub, David, squatted 

At the ball-post.  You looked me in the eye and said,

 

“Shub, there’ll come times when black people will be in charge.”

The lastingness was not long before 1954.

 

I knew the past was wrong, bad laws, blemished.

I know now that bruise has not healed.

 

When will we learn people are people,

Same and different?  We want inside out to be ardor.

 

I don’t know where you are now.  I think you moved.

Baltimore.  That talk we had I remember

 

Like it was yesterday.  Your brother

Russell was taking out the mule

 

So she could eat corn and drink water out of her trough.

Her long neck-muscles motion.

Shelby Stephenson, author of Paul's Hill:  Homage to Whitman and Slavery and Freedom on Paul's Hill.

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