l’il college town,
All the school year, full of UVA Wahoos,
going to football games, going to class,
going to pubs down at the Corner.
Just like everybody.
Come from Virginia and everywhere,
to Mr. Jefferson’s University,
to get a college degree and
to learn about life,
in the classroom and on the lawn,
from their professors and from each other.
The University in Virginia.
Situated in the center, caught in the middle,
between north and south,
black and white,
slave and free.
Where combatants gather,
and the shouting starts.
“It’s my right to say what I want,” they say.
Words of unkindness,
words of disrespect,
words of damnation.
Words that pelt, pummel, and break.
More than rocks through a glass window,
words leave shards, lying on the pavement.
The war of words has come to Virginia.
We the people of the middle.
To Charlottesville, family home of a
man of great words. History remembers him.
History belongs to no one.
The future belongs to someone.
Not you. Not me.
of the Middle.
Bold enough to see
that freedom is extended, as well as taken.
It’s not mine, if it’s not also yours.
If what I say hurts you,
I must strike that, not you.
Praying for Charlottesville …
Tender town in the center;
where the words
I pray for you
incline your heart
to pray for me.