03 Jun 2016 – Dear Soul
(for Mohammad Ali)

Dear soul, each time you spoke you made us proud.
We – a nation lost, a cold-war kingdom
watching sons come home in body bags
flag-draped and shovel-ready in their shrouds,
marched to the bugle and the muted drum.
You spoke truth and made the WASPs tongues wag.

“Your service to the earth’s the rent you pay
to occupy your space here in this world” –
you told us this, and took a true champs place,
rebuking hatred every single day,
while at your feet the lesser beings hurled
their fear as you made friends of every race.

We need you more than ever in this land
where bigotry enjoys a second birth,
and those with souls can feel the harsh winds blow.
The air waves fill with liars, rich and bland,
and one of you outweighs them all in worth –
and yet we know, we have to let you go.