PAD 23: Historic Poem

Today I am making up a prompt I missed when I was sick. April 23rd’s prompt was to write a historic poem. I’ve been thinking for a few days now about what historic event I wanted to focus on. With the recent events in Baltimore, I was thinking about Selma. Then, true to creativity’s form, the topic changed a bit as I started writing.  The Selma March was instrumental in passing the 1965 Voting Rights Act.


Rock the Vote


‘‘the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying
 the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men’’ 
(Johnson, ‘‘Remarks’’)


From Seneca Falls to Selma,

Americans have convened, marched,

Pleaded, begged, argued for

The right to vote.

To have a say, to break down

Injustice. To destroy the terrible walls.

A powerful weapon, that anyone

Can wield with no training, no practice.

Yet, like child who screams for a toy

And then abandons it as soon as he gets it,

Americans have abandoned

This instrument, this tool, this weapon

And instead seem to let the status quo-

Which seems to be full of division,

Full of creating those terrible walls-

Imprison them still.

Or they become so disillusioned

That they don’t vote at all.

Susan B., Sojourner, Martin, Malcolm

Are turning in their graves.



Johnson, Lyndon B. ‘‘Remarks in the Capitol Rotunda at the Signing of the Voting Rights Act,’’
6 August 1966, in Public Papers of the Presidents: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965, bk.2, 1966.

One thought on “PAD 23: Historic Poem

  1. “Get off the bus, Rosa!”
    “Better yet, stop writing on the bus, Rosa!”
    Well, ya’ll can try to cut me down from there to nova.
    ‘Cause, I’m sitting anywhere I so desire.
    And I’m going to write a piece of history despite your mire,
    Not a dang thing ya’ll can do to me to break my spirit’s fire.
    I was born because my Creator had a purpose for me.
    I was thrown about the universe because my Lord could see,
    That the power of His love could engage my heart-and yours-as free.


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