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.