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No Fancy Parade

By Michael Riley
An Original Poem by Michael Riley


If I make it to the top don't give me no fancy parade

For the path that I chose was a simple one

Full of footprints that were already made


The best of the best traveled along a bare and perilous track

In search of freedom whose price was so high

There were no tickets back


If I make it to the top please save your accolades

For my feet were not shackled not a lash did I receive

No decisions at the end of barrels and blades


My roots have not been torn from their garden of birth

Then planted on another land's distant shores


Nor have I labored from sunup to sunset

Until blood instead of sweat ran from my pores


Burdened by strife yet driven by faith

Toiling without thoughts of rewards


My ancestors slept on beds made of straw

In houses fashioned from old boards


Still, despite all of the adversity and pain

They endured and rebuilt their will


The best of the best had to climb a mountain

While I struggled to get up a hill


So, if I make it to the top by following that path

Which someone else has already made


Don't take it too personally when humbly I say

Don't give me no fancy parade.


Copyright © 2004 Michael J. Riley. All Rights Reserved Registration Number / Date: TX0006061867 / 2004-11-03 Essence Magazine Anniversary Issue

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