I remember the actor, the singer, the activist,
the winner of all the awards.
A child of immigrants without documents,
the voice of song in my childhood.
I remember the concert for the bus boycott,
in Montgomery, Alabama,
and “We are the World,”
for famine in Africa,
but no one told me before today
he helped pick out the suit
for Martin Luther King, Jr
to be buried in.
I read in today’s newspaper
that he was a Peace Corps advisor
a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.
then I thought I remembered it.
Maybe. that’s what it is like
thinking back about anyone.
I didn’t know
he started one of the first all-Black
music publishing companies
and produced for stage and screen,
and even for my family’s little TV,
though I wasn’t surprised,
because what I really remember
is that he was there when something
good could be done
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