The Boy from Troy

I was the son of share croppers

with dreams taller than skyscrapers

a curious child who questioned segregation’s signs

 my parents told me this is the way things are designed 

just don’t go getting into trouble.

I listened for a while

the chickens were beguiled.

“O hear ye chickens,

come near and listen

to the word of the Lord;

we all need to be of one accord

and don’t go getting into trouble.”

As I maturated, so did my vision

to destroy the barricades of deep division.

I tugged on the Dr. King’s coat-tail

and started the civil rights movement trail

I put on an anti-discrimination cape

to remove all the vestiges of hate

and I started to get into good trouble.

I did the sit-ins at the lunch counters

I went on precarious freedom rides adventures

I was arrested more forty times

for emitting light on racial crimes

the hand of death reached out prematurely for me

and twice God said this is not his appointed time; let him be

so, I kept getting into good trouble.

I have seen the deaths from Emmet Till to George Floyd

the unnecessary life lost leaving a deep void

the untimely loss of Robert and Martin

almost push me over the margin

but I never let bitterness touch my soul

instead I cradled hope to keep me whole

this allowed me to keep getting into good trouble.

I was the son of share-croppers

who became Congress’s gatekeeper.

Now it is time for me to pass the baton

I ran my leg and now I am worn

continue to stand against what is wrong

fight for voting rights and parity to compose another song

become the north star the one to emulate

finish the job leading the way to the justice gate

like the boy from Troy who overcame life’s struggle

you have to keep on getting into good trouble.

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