Perhaps a King, Reincarnate

—for Alton

by Helen Losse

I remember you from the dream, Alton—
sitting in the quadrangle among the others
on the bleachers, unnoticed—

while the choir was singing
in those dark hours:
Here—comes David’s anointing. 

And gently I prodded your stone-set back,
reaching around two younger men,
hoping to gain your attention.
I remember the dream,

not the melody.
I remember those great clouds of witness. 

I remember that I failed—in the dream.

Yes.  And who, among us,
descended from African Kings? 
You moved down the aisle with a sway—

a preacher in a Baptist church:
Long white shirt, pants, robe, pink-
trimmed.  You told us
blackness was a gift. 
  How could I forget that?

Perhaps a King, Reincarnate by Helen Losse

© Copyright 2004. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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