BRINGING JOHN LEWIS HOME

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.

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Mark Evan Chimsky is an editorial consultant (markchimskyeditorial.com) who headed major publishing imprints and was the editor of a number of bestsellers, including Johnny Cash’s autobiography "Cash." He is a contributor to Huffington Post, The Good Men Project and Thrive Global. An award-winning poet, Mark has published poetry and essays in Bullets into Bells, JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association), Wild Violet, The Oakland Review, Three Rivers Poetry Journal and Mississippi Review. He is currently developing the musicals The Pledge and Swagger with composer Zev Burrows.

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