Remembering A Life
By Nordette Adams
I remember him in the misted vision of toddler years
and again in girlhood, the booming voice on TV,
someone grown-ups talked about, eyelids flapped wide.
Elders huddled 'round the screen enraptured,
in fear for him, in awe.
I remember him.
His words swept the land, singing our passion.
Dogs growled in streets. Men in sheets.
Police battering my people. (Water, a weapon.)
Yet my people would rejoice ... And mourn.
I remember him, a fearsome warrior crying peace,
a man—blemished by clay, the stain of sin as
any other, calling on the Rock—
Death's sickle on his coat tails,
yet he spied glory.
Shall we walk again and remember him,
not as the Madison Aveners do,
but in solitude and hope
with acts of courage and compassion,
with lives of greater scope
carving fresh paths of righteousness?
© Copyright January 2004
This poem is cross-posted and was
first published at AuthorsDen in 2004. It has since been used by multiple schools and organizations. If you use the poem, please do not change the language/wording, and please give the poet Nordette Adams credit for authorship. Thank you.
"They said to one another, 'Behold, here cometh the
dreamer. Let us slay him,
And we shall see what will become of his dreams" --Genesis 37: 19-20
The verse above is engraved on the plaque at the Lorraine Hotel,
Memphis, Tenn.—the site of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated in the United States of America every third Monday of
January. He was born January 15, 1929.
Marking Martin's Day
By Nordette N. Adams
Some mark this day with service.
Some mark this day to shop.
Some mark this day to tell us
the struggle never stops.
Some grimace, grumbling still
that we mark this day at all,
but Martin's shout for justice
helped us answer freedom's call.
He moved America
to strive for its ideals
to uphold its Declaration
and recall its founding zeal to build
a glorious nation
that stands for liberty.
King pricked the people's
conscience to seek equality.
© Copyright January 2012 Nordette Adams
If you use the poem 'Remembering a Life' or the poem "Marking Martin's Day" by Nordette Adams, please do not change the text (the words) and please give the poet credit for authorship. ~~Thank you.
Click this link for the lyrics to James Taylor's song "Shed a Little Light."