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Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 32, New Delhi, July 25, 2020

John Lewis, the Good Trouble Man | Badri Raina

Friday 24 July 2020, by Badri Raina

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.

— Badri Raina, July 19, 2020

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