Hear me read
the poem as
an MP3 file.
Maybe it's a little strange that I
Am now the only one whose day of birth
Remains a holiday. I don't know why
That honor should be mine alone. My worth
Is certainly no more than Washington's,
Nor do I more than Lincoln days deserve.
Let me then suggest a change: Once
Unmoored from my name, let the holiday serve
To honor not the person but the cause,
Healing racial wounds, pursuing justice,
Examining the morals of our mores,
Revisiting the pain of prejudice.
Kings require homage; this king would
Instead be an occasion for remembrance:
Not of me, but of all who fought for good,
Giving “Freedom Day” its proper sense.