A year ago, a dear friend and mentor passed. I wrote this to remember his passion and courage. May it inspire you with courage.
Your progressive redneck preacher,
Pride of Zion
I will never forget when we stood together upon that grassy lawn,
Your beard, ever wild, waving in the autumn wind, a sun-drenched lion’s mane,
Your voice roaring out your truth, echoing for all to hear
Crying against the oppression of your people saying
Is what you promised defiantly on our first meeting
While showing your tattoos and piercings
Which turned your skin into a billboard testament
Including the number of your ancestor in the camps
“This is what silence does”, you whispered
Voice trembling in despair and rage.
“My people, of the star and rainbow, rounded up and killed.
Never again will I be silent”.
Is it any wonder my heart sank
when I stood by your bedside,
watching wires and tubes cover your mouth
The beep and whir of machines the only sounds
Flowing from your still body
Never again it seemed would I hear
That roaring voice which politicians and preachers
Never before could quiet
How could it now be hushed and still?
Now that the beeping has stopped,
The respirator no longer whirring,
I hear you still
In every voice crying out
“Silent no more”
In every people saying their lives matter
Saying never again shall they be crushed
Though your mouth be silenced, your body stilled,
Never again. Never, never again.
Cry on, dear lion, cry on!