The Reverend Jesse Jackson

Inspired by Jesse Jackson’s oration to a crowd
of no more than a dozen, I go to shake his hand
but it stays put inside its tanned leather glove.
Men packing guns close in, and I waver.

Hope you run for president again,
I say,
for in ’84 he campaigned to be America’s
first Black male president. He takes a chance,
grips my hand. The beef melt away.


Joan Byrne
South Bank, London, circa1986





This entry was posted on in homepage and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.