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Think Outside the Bus

By Diane Raflo-Andrews

Rosa whispered from the depths of silence,
I am standing with you, all of you,
Who wait to rest your weary bones,
Who long to sit and close your eyes.

On a day that changed the course of history,
Her seat was not surrendered.
With quiet determination, she refused
To obey the established rules,
Defining new ones to make things right.

A gentle woman, tired from a long day of work,
Pushed the limits,
Embraced the possibility,
Defied the status quo,
Rosa Parks said, “No!”

No more shutting the door in my face,
No more making me pay and driving away,
No more leaving me standing there in the dust,
No more moving to the back of the bus.

If she had taken that back seat,
If she had missed the bus that day,
If she had stayed inside herself on that fifth row,
The pathway to freedom would have been longer still.

Today her dream awakens the hope
That one day when the noise of this world subsides,
Any of us, not just one of us, but all of us
Could be courageous, empowered, and free.
Complete in that heartfelt knowing —
We stand outside the bus.