I Had a Dream

(With appreciation for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

I don’t think I will soon forget
A dream I had the other night.
I dreamed I was caring for six little boys;
Three were black and three were white.

The smallest boy kept running off,
With the biggest, happiest grin.
He thought he and I were having a race,
And he was determined to win!

I picked him up by the back of his shirt
And as he squirmed and wiggled,
He became a suitcase as I carried him,
And plopped him on the grass as he giggled!

Then a little black boy fell to the ground.
His new friend said “You’ll be okay.
Let’s find a spot where you can rest,
And after that, we’ll play.”

The white boy helped his new friend
To sit beneath a nearby tree.
Then ran and got some water
And washed the injured knee.

The two of them talked and laughed
At riddles and silly things that rhyme.
It seemed as though these two little boys
Had been good buddies for a very long time.

The other four kids found a ball
And tossed it all around.
They’d cheer each boy who caught the ball
Before it hit the ground!

Such sportsmanship warmed my heart.
It made me feel so good
To see that respect for everyone
Was something these kids understood.

Six little boys hadn’t known each others’ names –
Tom, Ralph, Satchel, Sam, Stu, and Wade –
But later that day they knew all the names
Of the new friends they had made.

I felt so honored to be in charge
Of those precious little guys,
And by the end of this wonderful day,
They had opened up my eyes,

Wouldn’t it be great if we weren’t closed-minded
And presumptions didn’t get in our way?
We’d think the way those young kids did
On that really special day?

We’d judge people by the things they do
And not by the way they look.
If that could happen, every life would matter,
And prejudice would be a closed book!

Lois McKinney
June, 2020