In the shadow of Lincoln
he heard Mahalia shout out
“Tell them about the dream, Martin!
Tell them about the dream.”
He remembered the vision
and the words that came to him
on that long walk to freedom
on that 75 degree June Detroit day.
It was evident as the clear water
of the mall’s reflecting pool,
the Washington monument in front,
the declarations of Jefferson behind him.
He again heard Mahalia’s words sing in him,
the dream of 12 thousand 500 score faces,
wanting to listen, pleading to listen
but only Mahalia’s rising above this soul’s choir.
He pushed the papers to the lectern’s left
and his old preacher voice remembered Detroit,
Montgomery, Albany, Birmingham.
He rose, called to them and the mountains beyond.