I want to share a post from Devoree Crist, who lives a few miles from Ferguson, Missouri, as she reflects on what has happened in the wake of Michael Brown’s death and the continuing legacy of violence. Read her post here
Her words made me remember.
Memory of my Father
Russ would be a hundred
if he were alive.
He saw a lynching,
when he was a little boy in Missouri —
small town, coal mines nearby,
and his folks ran the general store.
They told the children one night,
“some men gonna ride.”
Good people locked their doors
turned out the lights,
Russ was that age,
when a boy wants to know
so he climbed out an upstairs window,
hid in a tree to watch.
They burned the schoolhouse
with a black man tied to the roof.
he was the school teacher’s lover,
and she left town the next day.
In the Depression the store failed
and they moved north to Iowa,
but Russ remembered
and he wasn’t a watcher
when Civil Rights came along.
And I remember
that when he was old
and alzheimer’s rode his nights,
he would dream and cry.
Russ didn’t live long enough
to hear about Ferguson,
but I do not think he is resting