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?