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Standing Tall

by Jamie McKenzie

Some kings rule their kingdoms sitting down

Surrounded by luxury, soft cushions and fans

But this King stood strong

stood proud

stood tall

When the driver told Rosa

“Move to the back of the bus!”

When the waiter told students

“We don’t serve your kind!”

When the Mayor told voters

“Your vote don’t count!”

And when the sheriff told marchers

“Get off our streets!”

using fire hoses, police dogs and cattle prods

to move them along

This King stood strong

stood proud

stood tall

Speaking of peace

of love

and children

hand in hand

free at last

free at last

When some yelled for violence

For angry revenge

An eye for an eye

And a tooth for a tooth

He stood his ground

Preaching peace

And when some spit out hate

He stood there smiling

Spreading love

Until it rolled like the sea across the land

Sweeping away Jim Crow

Breaking down the walls

Ringing the bell

Joyfully

For Freedom

Until

Standing on the mountain top

They shot him

Coldly

Hoping to see him fall

Hoping to put him away

To bring him low

But this King

even in death

even today

stands strong

stands proud

stands tall

And we remember

toni 1/20/14

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