Monday, January 18, 2016


By Mary Stripling

January 15

Dear Dr. King
Happy Birthday to you and to me.
This time every year you are heavy in my memory,
the only famous person Im aware of
on whose birthday I was born.

You didnt get to celebrate your 75th.
I wish you were here.
It seems like only yesterday you were.

Tempus fujit!
but you never wasted a moment of it.
Your timing, until your last second, was loaded with purpose
and a consistent, persistent message.

Since then weve seen improvements
but there is still much work to be done.

We are confused.
Your kind of reasoning and rationale
have been turned upside down.

A mother states that during a fight with her daughter,
she didnt knock the girls tooth out.
It was already loose!

For years I have worked on a project that I think you could help me with.
Ive tried to write a poem that would tell the stories of
Jon Benet Ramsey and
Emani Moss.

Jon Benet with
Blond profusion of corkscrew curls
Twinkling eyes
Cute smile like Cupids bow.
An innocence and naivety that never saw what was coming.

Emani with
Dark brown bouncing braids
Eyes as gentle as a does
A smile that should melt the coldest heart.
a courageous spirit facing certain death.

These childrens stories were not about race, not about culture or social class,
but of a severely increasing level of evil.
Their stories, legion, should be told.
I cant find the words.

Dr. King, you would have made a great poet.
You understood the poets cardinal rule.
You wasted no words.
Your message was clear.

I wish you were here.

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