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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Black (10/15/09)

TITLE: I walk
By Melanie Kerr
10/19/09


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You ask me why I walk this day
Amid abuse that’s hurled my way
As police with batons just ahead
Swing with force to strike my head

I walk because you call me “Boy”
My worth and dignity destroy
I am no child, but full grown man
My years from child to old age span

I walk because I wish to sit
Not in those seats where you see fit
Upon a bus my choice to make
A seat secure you cannot take

I walk because I should not stand
Outside those parks where I am banned
With water fountains labelled “white”
My thirst to slake, denied my right

I walk because I will not crawl
The man within bids me stand tall
The burning cross before my door
Its ugly threat I shall ignore

I walk because this day I’m free
A better world exists for me
Beneath your thumb you cannot keep
When colour’s only just skin deep

I walk because it’s time for change
To cast aside, to rearrange
Not outward law, but inward mind
And open eyes that once were blind

I walk so others black like me
Might live their lives in liberty
Not judged by colour of their skin
But character that dwells within


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This article has been read 766 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Charla Diehl 10/22/09
This powerfully poignant poem speaks to the awful injustices that many black people had to endure. Sadly, in some places, this is still going on.
This entry was perfect in rhyme--never feeling forced--and I was moved by your words.
Loren T. Lowery10/23/09
I remember those days and the struggles many of the blacks had to endure. Your poem is a grim reminder of that battle and the enduring pain of its memory,
Margaret Kearley 10/24/09
Excellent poem with a powerful and touching message.
Mark Bell10/26/09
very good!!! nice build of each stanza, each a counterpoint of walking and purpose. grabbed the soul, drew the heart, and challenged the mind. well done.
Laury Hubrich 10/28/09
It's so hard to believe so much injustice was in our U.S. Amazing. Good job.
Jan Ackerson 10/28/09
There were lots of "civil rights" pieces this week--this one is by far my favorite. Such dignity!
Jennifer Galey10/28/09
Your words carve out such powerful truths. Especially, "not outward law, but inward mind."