That rock concert in New Haven, Connecticut took me by surprise
and why – the national anthem and the crowd was ready,
as one the many stood and hooted for the band.
I didn’t, a white girl whose knees knocked and never thought
of kneeling. Short of breath under the video of carpet bombing
of Cambodia, over the top, over the edge saturation
killing in Cambodia. And this was my country ’tis of thee
I sat in protest. Forty years later the black man kneeled
in more courage than I had in a pot-smoke crowd.
I ducked when some guy yelled I should stand
but there are times when you can’t, when the wrong
is too great, and the great isn’t great enough. So when
Judge Ruth says it’s wrong not to stand but not illegal
I know it can be right and the only thing you can do,
and perhaps it’s better to let wrong drive you to your knees
than sit like a numb ass.
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