Monday, January 21, 2013

Ghosts



There's a stump about four inches wide and maybe six-inches-or-so
    tall in Town Creek Park.
Next to it there's a podium.
Not a podium, but it's stuck in the ground.
I can't remember what it's called.

At one time, maybe back in 2008, it had a plaque on it with the name
    of the tree.
The species, I guess the species, was named after MLK.
It was a pine, or an oak, or maybe a maple.
It could have been a spruce, which I think is a kind of pine.
I can't remember what the plaque said.

My dad sat on a fence in Birmingham with his friends and watched
    the protesters get sprayed with fire hoses.
I think it was at Linn Park.
I can't really remember.

My step-dad's father fixed appliances in Montgomery and would do
    work for churches for free.
MLK came by the shop to pick up a washing machine or something.
I can't remember exactly what it was.
I think my step-dad actually met him.
I can't remember, though.

###

I wrote this poem on January 21, 2013, for a Martin Luther King, Jr., rally here in Auburn, Alabama. It was organized by Jason Crane who has two posts about it on his site. This post has video of the full event, with me reading an early version of the poem at about 13:00. (This link will take you to the point on the video where I start reading with my 3-year-old son John in hand.) And this post is a poem by Jason inspired by the event. This marks the first public reading (and posting) of any poem I've written.

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