In 1954, just back from war,
building a home for his new family,
Antoine worked full time,
each day, returning to the lower ninth ward,
and labored as long as there was daylight;
after six months' work, he was done,
and in his excitement and haste,
he left one of his handsaws behind
amid the ceiling joists in the attic.
In 1960, even though money was tight,
and every dollar had a destination,
Molly opened a savings account
with five dollars she had saved
from taking in extra laundry;
every week, she added a dollar;
as life improved over the years,
and money was not so tight,
the passbook became forgotten.
In 1968, when cities burned,
the taste of equality churned,
and a nation sat dumbfounded and
grief-stricken and mourned,
Freddy stood up and called for calm,
and offered his words as a balm
for such a deep, scarring wound,
and he made a difference by what he said,
as the crowds slowly dispersed.
In 1973, when each helicopter meant
the difference between a future or none,
and the sound of automatic weapons
pierced the afternoon's humid swelter,
Artie took an extra moment, and a big risk,
and reached down and plucked a baby boy
from his mother's outstretched arms,
and laid him safely on a blanket,
where he lay on a flight to safety.
* * * *
In 2005, as the foul water rose higher,
Anthony saw no way out for himself
and his wife and three children but up,
into the attic of the house, up high,
but then discovered no way out of there,
no way to see the choppers or the sky,
and then found Grandpa's old saw,
and managed to use it to cut a hole,
finding a way to set his family free.
In 2000, when money was tight again,
Jenny thought college was just a dream,
until Grandma's old account was found;
dusty and worn, that old blue passbook
was worth over fifty grand, just around
what it would take for those four years,
making that granddaughter the first
to make it up and out of the worst,
to make success out of struggle and tears.
In 2008, after a dark, long eight years,
the People finally rose up to reclaim
their Government and its good name,
putting Hope ahead of constant fears,
and so on a frigid, sunny January day,
Freddy was there, to stand up tall,
and celebrate and to just Say Hey,
to a future regained, a promised way,
as one of thousands on the Mall.
In 2003, with a young life filled with work,
a very happy Dr. Tranh felt blessed,
as he quietly celebrated the delivery
of his 1,000th healthy little baby,
each one made possible by an act of grace,
and a land made of freedom and mercy,
from a hand extended down that lifted
one so small, and later so gifted,
who felt so at home in his adopted place.
* * * *
When sometimes you lose your direction,
remember always, there will be a connection
from everything you do, to everything that will come,
as it happens all the time.
February 28 and March 1, 2009, for Kimberly, on demand once again.
Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.