John Lewis’s Body

27 Jul

Your body crossed the Alabama

yesterday one last time. 

Led by two black horses

pulling your caisson over the bridge

with its despicable name—

the Edmund Pettus bridge—your life

a battle ‘gainst all his peak’d hat proclaimed.

The horses carried you this time;

on Bloody Sunday sixty years ago, 

spurred by troopers, 

they charged you,

maimed your body.

This day troopers ushered you in silence

over the bridge, hushed mourners praying

a benediction.

Your mind never faltered, stayed 

its course—all about love, you said.

Your spirit sustained you 

from sharecropper boy in Alabama

to lunch counters in Nashville 

and Lincoln’s monument on the mall.

You led with your  body, absorbed its pain. 

In the end,   

horses carried that body to glory.

(c) Phil Hefner.    7/26/2020

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