The Marathon

Mayor

Indya Kincannon
mayor@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-2040

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share via Email
Poem written for the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA's 25th Annual Diversity Day and Race Against Racism on January 16, 2020.

By Marilyn Kallet



The Marathon


So get out of the road  If you can’t lend a hand.
(Bob Dylan)
We’re going too slowly, I 
whined. Then someone sang,

“Give those folks a hand,
they’re blocking the road!”

One of them was my dad.
But now he understands.

And those bad-mouthed dudes from
the corner of my childhood,

move them aside!
No need, 

they’re dust now. 
Let’s go, then! This is not a sprint.

It’s a marathon. 
We seem to have lost some ground.

We’ll need a truck to move
that giant orange squash in our path.

“Just vote!” Someone wiser 
called out. Ah!

We’re back on track,
passing the torch,

passing our old selves,
and forgiving them.

This race is a team sport. 
And way up ahead,

is that Reverend King?
He doesn’t have wings.

He’s all light now, but we
can still hear him.
“If you can’t fly then run!”
“Keep moving forward,” he said. 

Let the Reverend’s words
lend us a hand.

There are no trophies 
at the end, just love. 

In the race against racism,
hate loses. Justice wins.

You’re tired?  
Not tired enough.

Run like fierce wind.
Everything depends on us.

Our brothers and sisters
and our planet rest in our care.

Up ahead the finish line
shimmers, 

gossamer, like the netting
on a baby’s cradle, but finer,

porous, 
welcoming, like the sail

to a better world.
The path that beckons

runs wider than we dreamed.
Room for everyone!

Let’s go, quickly now,
faster, 

kinder, all in,
my friends!