Rosa Parks, whose
courageous act of civil disobedience in 1955 inspired the modern civil rights
movement, died 24 October 2005 in Detroit, Michigan. She was 92.
finally, it wasnt aching feet
or tiredness in your bones that made
there in front of the bus. You could have
trundled to a
bench seat in the back, you had energy enough for that, the world soon learned.
You told the driver no when he insisted you
offer your seat to the man
whose pale skin
was his ticket, and your voice shook loose
a crust of
disgrace from the centuries,
shuddering back through the timber of
slave ships, rippling forward through the wombs of women, through the windows
of classrooms and offices,
flickering in flames of restaurant stoves,
bubbling up through water fountains and
greening the trees of
childrens laughter makes a new music.
long did you sit before the cops arrived
to haul you out of your seat and
off the bus?
When they did, into the vacuum whirled
tongues of bigots, shackles
wet with blood, moans of mothers
children were stolen, the rage
of men whose wives were sold to rape.
Would that I had been on that bus,
a witness. My birth came a
after your work had begun to clear
the refuse away.
Today, your death
reminds us weve more stones to roll
more seats to occupy and more
commands from fools to refuse.
Chris Ransick ©
Colorado Book Award
CAL Fiction Award for
A Return to
For more of Chris's works,
Once You Have Known Darkness
It's true, your shadow
will follow you,
but only to regions
where there is light.
You are forever linked
to these two worlds:
one that shapes you,
one that takes your shape.
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
Rosemerry's books include If You
Listen, Insatiable,Charity, and The Christmas Candle
Book. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the
Humanities and the Telluride Council for the Arts and Humanities. She is a
member of Sparrows,
Colorado's Performance Poetry Festival
Each time the trout
the pond surface shudders-
concentric circles of memory,
Eventually, they dwindle.
The pond stills.
The trout leap again,
toward the sunlight,
ecstatic with flutter.
What in us yearns for the world
a place that feeds us,
a place our bodies will never inhabit.
The mind ripples out,
seeking edges that contain it.
We wade in
cool green depths
of whys and what ifs.
Curious, we wander.
deepens over our heads.
Fluid and fickle,
the world wavers in its bed.
What was clear undulates,
fluctuates like filaments of green algae
And what is that,
skating the rim outside reach?
and the world begins to shudder.