“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is,’What are you doing for others?’’
Martin Luther King, Jr.
I celebrate the young woman
in the high school chorus
at the Martin Luther King service.
She’s in front of the alto section
in her black satin concert dress
and I see the rows of white razor scars
on her left arm.
I stop counting at forty,
and wonder if she feels my eyes.
I’ve seen cutting before –
not so many and always hidden,
sleeves quickly pulled down.
I am humble to tears,
privileged to witness her courage –
“Look,” she says to all the world.
“Look at my recovery,
and see where I have been.
If you need help,
just come and talk to me.
I understand —
and now I am here
singing freedom songs.”