Tell them about the dream, Martin

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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.