We will not go
headlong into your blinding, bright future.
We will not be pushed
over the edge of your making
to crash into visions that have no memory.
There is life here!
There are lifetimes here!
There is blood here.

Spread your hands in the black, rich dirt,
be still.
Put your ear to the ground, let your cheek rest on the grass.
Be still and listen:

There is blood here.
Dropped in the dirt, now part of the earth,
from war: son against son, for your very freedom:
Life for Life.
From war: daughter against her self, for your very birth:
Life for Life.

There is sweat here,
dropped in the dirt,
shed from hands that toiled and planted and crafted;
from brows that wondered and invented and discovered;
from backs that worked from springtide to winter's end.

There are tears here,
dropped in the dirt
from all that has ever made anyone cry with elation,
or keen with sorrow;
from all that has ever made anyone weep,
from all that has ever made anyone weep.

There is peace here.

Lift yourself and close your eyes into the rays of the same sun
that has always warmed the faces of those
who stood in this place,
emboldened and forward bound,
grand hope in their chests.

No, we will not go.

Future will come without goading.
Empty and honorless it will come;
with no foundations it will crumble
back into the earth.

Build your visions, but build them with providence.
Stay alert. Stay watchful.
There is blood,
there is death.
There is life here!

M.Black 4/10

Dedicated in memory of Walter Jones
and in honor of his sisters, his brother, and all those whose lives he touched.