Thursday, May 29, 2014

For Brenda Hillman (#3)

For Brenda Hillman

I saw you in a store
The other day and I
Wanted to say hi
But started to cry
And had to hide.
You had faith in the work,
The poems, the essays,
The teaching, the talk
Even the music and saw
How it could all come
Together to serve, to create
A deeper community
In this land of the car.
You stood up for me
& strove to ease the
difficult transition.
I was green & I strove
to make you proud
to show I could speak
Shakespeare to impress
the others who didn’t want
or get the Harryman 
or Baraka.

I remember the challenging
Nurturing light you shone
Sustained me in the cold
Unfamiliarity of this post
9/11 place. We shared
Deep subversive Smiles,
as I tried to curb
the New York manners
Where it’s okay if someone
Talks over you because you
Know she’s listening too

And I remember the
Seemingly little things
Like the department meeting
With talk of using a building
The college had in downtown
Oakland as a kind of extension
Campus to serve the city
Community and you may
Remember how excited
That made me feel, and
That maybe someday
We’d have more clout
With the funders to help
Make that a reality. I didn’t

Know.... the terrain, what
You're up against, what
We're up against, especially
Once... the car hit...
And helpless, bedridden
On vicadin, the economy
Crashed so the rich could
Get richer…and I couldn’t

no, you can't turn back the hands of time to April 6, 2004....

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