the Barrel of that National Guardsman’s Rifle
It comes from places
we’re unaccustomed to acknowledging.
Everywhere rain falls on occasion
when shelter is nowhere to be found
and we find ourselves drenched
This is quite different when
everywhere some potentate reigns over us.
Where is that brave protester
who plucked from a bucket of blossoms
a long stem carnation having placed it in
the barrel of that national guardsman’s rifle.
We should wonder if that guardsman
felt stifled by this kind gesture that stood
in stark contrast to the potential order
to fire on unarmed protesters
making their First Amendment right boisterous.
Boisterous can be collegial given the
setting of context and circumference
including terms and conditions.
The Little Rock Nine required national guard
safe passage into Little Rock Central High School
in 1957—it being the year we were born.
Given their first First Amendment right,
we imagine they spoke not a word on the path
to equality in a nation where all men were
regarded as equal with less regard for
that of women.
Little did The Little Rock Nine know
it was a new beginning for black boys
and girls like us.
Maybe now people will understand
why we lift our hands in praise and open our
mouths in songs that extol the grace
of our savior—no not Dr. King.
Water in the creek at baptism speaks
to confession and profession in a savior who has
2000 years later yet to return.
When he returns there will be no need for
swords and knives guns and bombs.
We hope people living then
will have learned to love each other without
designation and description.
~ the Barrel of that National Guardsman’s Rifle
© 2017 by emmett wheatfall
All Right Reserved