Tuesday, June 2, 2020


I remember 1967 – 2020

1967  I remember sitting Ronnie’s backyard
          Listening to the tanks roll down Gratiot
          To help quell the riots in Detroit

1967 I remember Ronnie’s dad telling us
        His two black workers had called in
        To say they wouldn’t be into work
        They were staying home to protect
        Their homes and neighbors from rioters

1967 I remember my dad coming home from
        Work at Chevy Gear and Axle and telling
        Mom and I how he saw white men
        Breaking into stores and looting

1967 I remember the tv news and the pictures
        Of what they called race riots

1967 I remember that even then I knew they
        Were more than just race riots
        They were people who had enough
        Of brutality, of racism, of poverty

2020 I watch tv news from Minneapolis
         Police brutality, poor people rioting
         I remember the years between
        And know we have learned nothing

2020 I read the news about racism
         I hear about a child threatened
        To have the police called because
        He was walking on his own street

2020 I read about a woman calling 911
Because a black man bird watching told
Her that her dog needed to be leashed

2020 I read the President’s tweets and
Listen to his words and know
The dream is still deferred
Yet, I remember the dream

2020 I read, I watch, I remember

--Tom Blessing

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