Ralph Long


Each day, we must walk the walk
For freedom is a demanding walk

Ushering children to failing schools
Mothers fear each predawn walk

Daughters are not allowed to keep pace
Two steps back they are told to walk

Those you love without regard to gender
Always fear holding hands to walk

Color and religion marked with pain
As others refuse the right to walk

Drugs, crime and guns leave
Lives forfeited for crossing the sidewalk

For all that needs to change
Each day, we must walk the walk


Ralph Long is a graduate of Haverford College and a resident of Oakland, California. His work has appeared in The Avocet.