For just a few seconds we forget our hunger
The bills that will not be paid
The sickness that suffocates
We put our hands on our hearts to bear witness
As the carriage, led by two black horses, travels the distance
Of more than a bridge, as its wheels turn
On the very place where the young man was bloodied
But beat back death,
The fight in him larger than the will of whatever forces
Wanted him erased.
His story was not mine, and I stand watching the flag-
Draped casket knowing that I had what he fought for
And yet he had more than I will ever own.
The masked driver stops the horses and stands
At attention, removing his top hat as if listening to taps
That only he hears, a ferryman who is commanding all of us
To show respect before the carriage crosses over
And to remind us that it is time to briefly pause
Before we continue to make trouble –
“good, necessary trouble” –
For a higher cause.