Almedia Knight Oliver


Many Rains Ago


The anniversary of your birth we celebrate…
In heat, in snow, and in rain and sleet
America and countries everywhere emulate
Some sighing, others crying, still others swearing and hating long after your death…
I want to tell my memory to hush talking about those old dreams of many rains ago:
Momma told her four girls to be careful of the ones you meet, day in and day out
white men prowled the gravel roads looking for a prey
“Girls, y’all run fast into the woods and hide, and don't come out
until he drives out of sight-or worst stay all night hiding out! ”
Memory, keep telling me bout what the old folk said about Emmitt Till’s body rising
From the river bottom so swollen ‘til nobody could make him out
As bright as daylight, I heard Momma’s tears raining hard in her sleep,
And her dreams dreaming loud and deep
“Have mercy on my soul they done killed that boy
I wish his fore-parents had jumped ship many rains ago! '
Now, where can I go, a black widow, five boys, and four girls
Living off black soil and cursing the red clay that can't even make hay
Aside from the soil and red clay, forty acres and a mule, cows and hogs,
and chickens and all can’t be moved anyplace! ”
The rain slacked up. The arching rainbow still bends toward hope…
Women and men of all colors, celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, and his dreams!
'
Dr. King, many of your dreams have come true, still we’re dreaming your dreams: silently and out loud evermore >

Submitted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Edited: Friday, May 16, 2014

Topic(s): holiday


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Poet's Notes about The Poem

While listening to “Hold On” song “Root Suite” by the late Noel Pointer and his mother Louvinia Pointer who gave their hearts and souls to the arts! You’ll be loved evermore!

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