John Lewis, you looked trouble
In the eye, and from its womb
Forged good trouble.
From the march on Washington
Till sixty years after, through umpteen
Arrests and near-fatal beatings
Your laughing spirit infused justice
With life and substance.
Never saying never, you shamed
Our pusillanimous dithering
And lack of faith, inspiring
Generations of every hue
To let a cussed world of infamy
Know how to become fully human
By carrying your conviction to
Disarm the merchants of sin.
Your giant life brought conscience
To democracy and fruits of
Emancipation to frightened and
Tyrannical souls alike.
You wiggled a dance of togetherness
Even as news came of your pancreas.
Knowing that you existed, what right
Have we to fold up our struggles
And cave in to injustices
That thrive because we have
Lost our fighting fizz.
Dear hero of a battling humanity,
We salute your life and your going,
And vow to keep the good trouble
Lesson you taught and lived
As a beacon to our further striving.