The red maple stands solemnly,
Silent witness to the kill,
Of a kernel’s final journey,
Not yet 5,000 dawns fulfilled.
For one last shaken moment,
A day’s dream ended abruptly.
The grace of light will never foment,
This seed’s life-circle thusly.
O’er my shoulder is reflected,
Against mirrored windows laid bare,
The massive memorial collected,
To honor Tamir’s spirit here.
A child’s hopes will only bring,
That which imaginations allow,
To our own Young Black King,
And the name we will avow.
Never realizing the resultant rigor,
Of how our privilege protected,
Another pulling of the trigger.
And, yet, the future will be affected,
By today’s silence, it would seem,
To neutralize one more child’s dream.
In 1995, Leon Michaud moved to Northeast Ohio with his wife, and their young son. Over the subsequent years, his family (which now numbers five) has enjoyed experiencing life in the inner-ring community of Euclid. Living in this effervescent echo of the rich cultural tapestry of the Cleveland neighborhoods, has provided local exposure to numerous facets of a global society. During his career, he has engaged in various roles as an electrical engineer, while, artistically, he has always enjoyed playing music and singing (having even composed ‘some tacky ballads’ in his twenties.) He seriously began writing poetry three years ago at the age of sixty-two. At the time he felt drawn to the positive power of words. As his speaking voice can sometimes lose control of the message, he takes comfort in knowing that his written words are predominately a clearer and kinder oracle for communication. As he starts to gravitate from the role of working “stiff,” he looks forward to more quiet time to pursue messages that he believes merit attention.
Cleveland Public Library
325 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114
Literary Cleveland is a nonprofit organization and creative writing center that empowers people to explore other voices and discover their own. Through an expanding roster of multi-level classes, workshops and events, Literary Cleveland assists writers and readers at all stages of development, promotes new and existing literature of the highest quality, and advances Northeast Ohio as a vital center of diverse voices and visions.
Founded in 1869, Cleveland Public Library serves the residents of Cleveland through its network of 27 neighborhood branches, the Main Library downtown, Public Administration Library at City Hall, homebound delivery services, and mobile services to daycare and senior centers. From a collection of 10.5 million items, the Library lends over 5 million items a year to its 330,000 registered borrowers and to 43 other CLEVNET-member libraries in 12 counties across Northeast Ohio. Cleveland Public Library is home to the Ohio Center for the Book and the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, serving all 88 counties in the state of Ohio. For more information, visit cpl.org.