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    A Cavalcade for a Renaissance

    *Inspired by Cavalcade of Cars, Larry Ebel & Linda Cianciolo Scarlett
    Venetian glass mosaic frame
    Memories of my childhood,
    Arms resting on the window pane
    My eyes gaze into the summer’s light
    I envision a time before I began to understand winter
    A time when my city was alive
    Thriving on the strength of muscle cars
    America’s backbone,
    A bastion of industry,
    The fortified spirit of assembly line workers
    My city
    Thunderbirds cruising Woodward Avenue
    Fathers and sons work the plant in River Rouge
    Revolution and innovation,
    Paris of the Midwest, it was once hailed
    Finely crafted architecture, a city of homes
    Precise engineering, well-oiled machines
    Engines revved up, we rolling in style
    Luxury slowly transforms into need
    The people once loved us for the Model T
    And championed my city “The arsenal of democracy”
    How fickle are fans and critics alike?
    How quickly do the teeth of history bite?
    Venetian glass mosaic frame
    You’ve stirred the echoes of ghosts in this place
    I can’t help but wonder if the images I see are an ode to past glory,
    Or a warning to heed
    Freeway construction destroyed Black communities
    Suburbs exacerbated the racism and hate
    Deep are the roots in Detroit of both shades
    Neither of the pawns recognizing the play
    Abandoned homes
    I counted 21 after viewing the Cavalcade
    In a 3 minute bus ride from Dexter at Northwestern
    To Dexter at Joy Road
    However, there is no pity
    Only desperate hunger, a healthy anger, boiling passion, and unconditional love
    America you raped Detroit,
    Our streets bare the toll of the mythology of the Second War,
    Bigotry at home,
    False democracy and expansion of the empire abroad
    But we will endure,
    Rock solid, Joe Louis fist raised in defiance
    High as Yzerman hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup for the first time
    I hear the voices of Blackbottom,
    The casualties of the ’67 riots
    The celebration of the ’68 Tigers
    Hard hats, tough skin
    Ben Wallace and Isaiah Thomas
    Endurance and undying spirit
    Grace Boggs, William Copeland, Anita Peek
    Our fallen, which are no longer with us
    Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Kenneth Lucas, Malice Green, Samuel Williams
    We march on
    Anticipating our renaissance
    Out from the bitter cold of winter
    Rising from the ashes
    Detroit, you will come alive again
    And I will be along for the ride

    —Walter Lacy