Freedom Lunch


United States
33° 51' 50.634" N, 118° 10' 35.8644" W

Breathe in.
Stay calm.
Fingers refuse
As they shake.
Reach for the door knob.
Take a moment to gather
Some valor.
Think of The King.
Remember Ghandi.
Remember Rosa.
The knob turns in my fingers.
The store bell rings.
As my foot clomps down
On the concrete.
Bloodshot eyes stare back,
As sweat trickles down my forehead.
Lips tremble.
Here goes nothing.
Approach the counter.
One step, two step.
Glance server,
Straight in the eyes
Don’t show him you’re afraid.
Remember why you’re here.
Place hands on counter,
Lean on counter.
Feels like ice in here.
And My God,
I must
Remember why you’re here.
Sway stool back and forth.
Open mouth and order.
“I would like a sandwich,
Stout server with greasy spit
Glares “Git out, we don’t serve
Your kind here.”
Remember why you’re here.
One more try.
“One sandwich please.”
Diner bell rings.
Heavy boots approach.
No need to turn.
You know who it is.
Remember why you’re here.
Brace yourself for
The club’s strike.
Blood will ooze in a moment.
Tears will scratch your cheeks
In a moment.
Remember why you’re here.
Diner bell rings.
The fight for freedom
Has arrived
In Greensboro.

Guide that inspired this poem: 


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