Poem by Gloria Larry House

SELMA, 1965

Amid the ghosts of civil rights marchers
in Selma
in the summer so hot,
the children sang in the paths
of the afternoon showers,
"Before I'd be a slave,
I'd be buried in my grave. ...
From the freedom school window
We watched them come
across the lawns of the housing projects
down the rain-rutted dirt roads,
through the puddles waiting cool for bare feet.
(Touch the dripping bush, break a leaf and smell
the pungency of green.)
They were tattered angels of hope,
plaits caught at odd angles
and standing indignantly,
a ripped hem hanging like a train,
grey knees poking through denim frames.
Dancing the whole trip,
they performed their historic drama
against the set of their
wet brick project homes.

Copyright © Gloria House, all rights reserverd.

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