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As a Teenager I Wanted to be the Ouachita River (Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)


“As a Teenager I Wanted to be the Ouachita River”

As a teenager, it was the days I’d park my truck by Forsythe Park
When I would go to the Ouachita River to sit on the banks
I dreamed I would become that river because it flowed freely
It rejected being stuck between the Twin Cities that didn’t get along
There were days I wished I would fall into that observant River
I’d float on down the river passing right under I-20 waving goodbye
Mixing with the spirit of Arkansas transporting life further south
Mostly dreaming of escaping the tight clutches of ignorance

As an adult, I realized even more so the beauty of the Ouachita River
It made see the true good-willed values of my very own home
It was the energy in my home and others that the good in humanity resided
The good energy of the Ouachita River was in many, many of our homes
Even though the manipulative spirit of segregation lurked outside the home
I realized that the Ouachita River glued the lives of many together
I realized any river flowing between us didn’t have to keeping us divided
I realized the rivers between us were the motivation to building bridges

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