Martin Luther King’s Nightmare

Sara Downs, Student Submission

Opportunity, community, equity, 

where can we live together? 

not here, not today, 

even tomorrow is not promising,

killing ourselves slowly before seeing the day free of discrimination, 

have they no mercy?

God frowning down upon us, 

at the demonic whispers, 

the faults growing, like a crawling disease, 

who has given it the ability?

Content enough to put them first, 

classic enough to withhold judgement, 

working tirelessly but not alone, 

no, they are never alone, 

can we ever compromise?

seen by others as unusual or displaced, 

judged upon the color of their skin, 

how irrational, we are unconscious, 

in need of a wake, 

Martin Luther King once had a dream, 

I hope he does not wake up now, 

maybe he would be better off if he just kept sleeping, 

for he would not awake to a real-life nightmare,

if only the world was black and white, 

then would we realize? 

If only we were not starved of it, 

if only our stomachs were full,

if only we did not hold back, 

if only our hearts were cardinal, 

so red, like bloodshed, 

we would be one, 


collectivistic culture, 

hand in hand, 

heart to heart, 

you before me, 

and he before you, 

interconnectedness and an absence of arrogance, 

perhaps we are being held back, 

when will we break through?

What has come of today? 

collectivistic culture, 

only we can satisfy,

veered off track by penalties, 

in the dark with little light,

death threatens the colored, 

one movement, 

nine circles of hell.