June 08, 1993|By Janet Bixby

They marched for integration.

They marched to ban the bomb.

They marched for voters' rights.

They marched for Vietnam.

That's how the march began

Here, where the marching's free,

A new-to-this-place plan

But old in history.

And all around the world

They marched and made protest.

A hundred injuries

And a thousand hearts oppressed.

One day they marched for food,

Another day, for peace.

Good jobs! New government,

A prisoner's release.

And still they march, as then,

With slogans and with songs.

Bring back the sun again

And right the people's wrongs.

But now they're commonplace,

These shouting, shuffling lines.

Bystanders scarcely look

Enough to read the signs.

Why do they still persist?

What do they hope to gain,

Marching through days and nights,

Unstopped by wind and rain?

Marching defiance at troopers and jeers,

Pouring frustration in songs and in cheers.

Those who are hopeless march to be given hope.

Those who are grieving march to forget their grief.

Those who are driven to act march to be acting.

Those who are restless march to obtain relief.

Some ages grab at us in desperation,

Shrieking, "Come on! Something has to be done."

And when we ask them the way to salvation,

They stammer, "Who knows, but there has to be


Marching won't save the world, but marching is


Better than panic, and better than standing still.

Let's think to the drum beat! It's better than


But where is the listener to hear our united will?

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