Uncategorized

Singing for Stevie’s Wonder

I remember,
in the early 60s,
our thirty mile drive
from our historic family farm,
in all White rural Michigan,
not counting the Mexican migrant workers
which adults made a point of discounting,
on the first of several shopping trips to Thrifty Acres,
through vibrantly young all Black urban streets
of nearby Lansing.

Making Stevie Wonder and I,
him singing in all Black city churches
and me in all White rural and small village churches,
harmonic neighbors in my privately humming heart
yet never possible to publicly meet and greet
as this nation and this world were meant to sing
and dance our regenerations not apart.

I didn’t know apartheid by default yet
but I do remember
seeing nearly black as ink skin for the very first time
on a smiling brown-eyed boy
on a chipped white painted bicycle without rims,
and longing to talk and listen with him
and laugh with him about the fresh green smell of freedom from training wheels,
freedom to create our own fast pedaling breeze
across our summer-hot black and white faces and arms,
and knowing that I would touch his dark warm skin
with loving wonder
about what it could be like to become with him,
to grow together,
to smell and feel and fly our satisfying diverse integrity
on a tandem red in-your-face bike,
bright shining all the way back
from Black-streets Lansing
through little White Woodland,
spreading across all Black with White Capital Cities
on out to woodland farmers,
to peddle fly while singing our glad hosanna wonders.

As I reweave
this first drive by encounter with racial diversity
and humane ecstatic curiosity,
I imagine asking Mom to stop,
pull our metallic gold Ford over
so I could ask his thick black-framed glasses name,
which would be Stevie,
and take his hand
to walk his bike back to his home and family
where we would live together
happily and most prosperously ever after.

This was my moment,
too quickly passed,
to know passion’s love at first sight,
these sublime sounds and dark satin skin smells
of Stevie’s Wonder.

Standard

2 thoughts on “Singing for Stevie’s Wonder

  1. Janet Tanner says:

    Her name was Dina Declaybrook and in my class of 500 from Conard High School in 1975, she was known as the “Project Concern” student. We all knew of her, but none of us really knew or hung out with her because she was only in school for the class day, leaving on a bus to go back to Hartford at the end of the school day. It’s curious that I still remember her name, although I have forgotten most of the names of my white classmates. Fast forward to 2006, the year my daughter graduated from the same school. About 30% of her classmates were people of color. Many were, and remain close friends of hers.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s