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The Hawk Has Landed

JACQUIE L. PEOPLES DUKES

In honor of the legacy and work of
Mr. Robert L. Wright
Civic Leader, Teacher, Mentor,
Protector, Peace Maker, Servant,
Reformer, Trailblazer, Family Member,
Co-Worker, Neighbor, and Friend.

This is the story
of a transformed man
and his legacy of love.
Who started out
living for self,
then was guided
from up
above.

He did time in the Service,
represented
the nation well.
A Service Marine
in the Vietnam War
Oh, the stories
I bet he could tell.

Feisty he was,
as a teen growing up,
some might have called him
a little
hot-headed.

A blend of the Wright
and Jones
families,
one might say
those traits
were embedded.

A ladies’ man
In his younger days
he was a hip
and stylish
cat.
But he swapped his fedora
for a work uniform
jeans,
and a baseball cap.

Time went by
a family man he became
he settled down,
and switched up
his game

Now this brings us to
the most recent years
and the recollections
that most of us
have.

Of a wonderful man
with a great big smile,
at the Rec
on Franklin Ave.

Philosophizing
Pontificating
and scanning the Courier’s
front page.
Kick’in the knowledge
and break’in it down
like a soulful
wise old
Sage.

At the Rec
you know,
every once in awhile
there’d be a tussle
or fight.
Bad language,
arguing, pushing and shoving
always
annoyed
Mr. Wright.

He’d “peep out” the culprits
then give it a minute.
He hoped they would settle
before they really
got in it!

He’d really be annoyed
if he had to get up,
and out his seat.
He’d sternly shout,
“AYE YA’LL,
TAKE THAT MESS ON DOWN THE STREET!”

No, he wasn’t hav’in it,
not on his watch.
He was ’da Man
in case you forgot!

You had freedom of choice
not of consequence.
If you got kicked of the court,
then, “GET OUT OF THE FENCE!”

For he wasn’t one
that would hold his tongue,
he said what was on his mind.
Honest, straight up
yet ironically,
still gentle
and kind.

Protective patriarch,
tenacious defender,
warrior for justice
and awesome
youth mentor.

He spoke from the heart,
convicted and firm
straight from
a true place of caring.
It was his desire
to help not to hurt,
that was
his reason for sharing.

As the years marched on
he was transformed
into a reflective
and humble man.

Overflowing with kindness,
faith, and respect
always willing
to lend you
a hand.

He loved his family,
and friends,
a territorial hawk
who guarded “The End”

Now his spirt has risen
and flown on high.
We’ll be reminded of him
by that hawk in the sky.

For he watched over us all
while he was able
Holding court under a tree,
at a picnic
table.

He taught us how to play.
He taught us how to win.
Wanting us to become,
great women and men.

A civic leader,
advocate, and soldier.
A noble statesman
as he grew older.

He prayed unity for his family
to stand strong
with pride.
He hoped
long would live the legacy,
of the South-side

The children to be encouraged,
loved and always protected.
Praised,
disciplined, well-taught
and never to be
rejected.

One of his favorite verses
was
Psalms 37.
It was motivation and comfort
on his quest towards heaven.
It gave him clarity
and ordered his steps.
It changed his life,
erased regrets.

In the blink of an eye
his body was healed.
Well done faithful servant,
your purpose
—fulfilled.

Pains and worries subsided
and forever
now ceased.
The hawk has now landed
and is perched
at PEACE.