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’’
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.