Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey invents Take My Hand Precious Lord
Four nights in the full moon, and there was peace in the valley.
I cast a school of shadows like slippery fish, incandescent
The speakeasy, half in depth, enmeshed was a hot gravel rally.
August 1937, the morning of the Great Depression,
Like phosphorescence on the Southside of Chicago, oysters, clams
Coltrane live from Japan in the Baptist Convention,
Half mad, we took a great spiral of dripping song
And with gold folklore lit our torches flare and flicker;
the Killdeer feigned a broken wing, kept others from exhaustible sins.
Then Gospel. Must He Go Alone? Take My Hand Precious Lord, slicker,
Rang out like Selma, there must be peace in the valley,
The white-diamond concrete in the Chicago summer.
The remaining packinghouse worker’s billowed in the rally,
Killdeer, and urban shorebirds like men, gave a circumspect Amen.
In the white buildings among the white towering trees, there will be peace in this valley.