Local poet and Executive Director of the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, Glenn North, kicked-off the groundbreaking for the 15 and the Mahomies Playground at Martin Luther King, Jr. Square Park with this original poem.
Beautiful words stir my heart.
I will recite a lovely poem about the king,
for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet.
– Psalm 45:1 NLT
In honor of a King we christen this space –
And just as he used love to absorb hatred
we boldly proclaim this land as sacred.
Don’t you feel the sweep of justice
blowing in the wind;
the sweet fragrance of freedom
coming around the bend?
We implore the Creator to dispatch
an army of angels to keep the children
who will play here protected.
May racism in all its manifestations forever be rejected.
May the grass stay green
and the creek never flood.
We pray this space bulletproof –
free from spilled blood.
This cathedral under the clouds,
this classroom beneath the stars,
this fertile garden of dreams,
this sanctuary for the healing
of generational scars –
where the hope of our youth can flourish,
where future leaders and heroes
will continually be nourished,
where courage is served up
as a daily supplement,
because you cannot ride a person’s back
unless it’s already bent.
This haven built to harness
the legacy of Dr. King ought to be a place
that blooms every spring…
with the fruit of justice and
cascading fields of love
and rolling hills of liberty,
a consecrated corner of earth
where no one is ever judged
by the color of their skin,
but by the content of their character.
May the sacrifice of our ancestors
saturate our memories like
warm rains seeping into the soil.
May we remain loyal to the little boys
and little girls ten thousand suns from now,
looking back on the history we are creating –
May our efforts make them proud.
Embrace hope all ye who enter here
for we know that perfect love casteth out all fear.
May we all live lives that will honor
his noble legacy…
May we never forget
the price he paid in his attempt
to set us free.
By Glenn North