So Long To Get To You
for MLK, Jr.
It took so long this morning
to get to you, Martin. First, I walk,
half asleep, into Kroger at 6 a.m.
for fresh coffee and overhear a news anchor
report a TX man killed by alligators
in a bayou. Back home, I check the NYTimes
online—like they’re gonna cover
Google my way into more maulings
and find dependable CNN
breaking news about sharks trolling
the waist-deep waters off the Carolina coast.
“Promoted Stories” leads to “Chilling
Portraits of Victorian Mental
Institution Patients” on viralworld.net—
then another link
to the “45 Most Powerful Photos Ever!”
complements of buzzlamp.com.
Finally, you—unearthing a burnt cross
from your front yard
with little MLK III by your side.
The “stories” pressing
in like profane mobs?—One Odd Trick
to Stop ED, 40 Sexiest
Selfies, Yoga Babes in Skin-
Tight Clothing, Celeb Body Bloopers,
The Grilling Tip You Need
to Clench Your July 4th Hotdog Game.
But it was always a circus,
wasn’t it? The gawkers, like me,
the soothsayers and naysayers,
rabblers and rousers,
Johnson, Hoover, and Bull Connor,
the great white
man’s dogs and a hell
of water and batons, the men
who had time, but not mountaintops,
till someone tried
to shut you up by putting a bullet
through your dream.