And the Wind Fell Bleeding

for Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 1985

How long has it been
since I cried three times
in a night?

Once at the newsreel
of the three cops in motorcycle helmets
wrestling the portly grey-haired lady

Again at the words
swelling in the golden throat of the dreamer
who saw the promised land and knew
we could not conquer it by killing
this time

And again when I heard
how that windpipe shattered
and the wind fell bleeding

And I kept thinking what if
all over America in black
factory towns and cities
full of white marble
people are
walking out of chapels
and capitol rotundas tonight
feeling what I feel?