Alexander Roussel (Lafayette, Louisiana)
Having a dream only gets you so far –
One day you wake-up and realize where you truly are,
Chest-deep in concrete, staring-up at some distant star –
Wishing, hoping, fantasizing that the world
will change one day.
But the workers keep encasing you in cement and marble. Say
What you will from cold and stony pedestal –
no one listens anyway.
You live on in human minds,
some refashioned version of you.
Dreams enveloping dreams – no matter if it is true.
Life of a man retold a thousand times, meant to imbue
The masses with colorful wonder, dirty bits scrubbed clean.
Saintly hodgepodge of impossible heights is left of the glean
And picking of Clio’s scroll of facts – some jovial, some mean.
So-called followers and friends, supporters who believe –
Take-up your life as their hammer to swing, and relieve
Self-declared pressures on society in attempts to sieve
Rights from old wrongs. Voices scream –
Shouting your name as a battle cry to lead the tribe, clan, team
Onward to victory under the guise of your supposed dream.
Statue of a man, long-dead but never-forgotten –
Save for the pigeons, in the center of the park. A solemn tone
Hangs in the January air. Is your dream still alive – has it grown?
We’ve cocooned you in stone, reducing you to quotes.
Morphing flawed leader into hollow martyr – the nation totes
You out once a year from behind copyrighted, red tape moats.
Like the Easter Bunny – with a speech,
Why can’t we allow the children of America to learn, to teach
Them about the man, instead of the myth, in order to reach
The dream you spoke-of?
If peace and understanding come gently like a dove,
Then why do we, like crows, peck at you – caw, bicker, and shove?
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