One Step at a Time
I used to watch Quantum Leap with my mom
whenever it came on TV
There was once an episode where
Sam had to talk this young man
into getting on a bus that would
take him off to college.
The boy didn’t want to go;
he was afraid and didn’t think
much of himself. He said,
“I’m just one person, the world
won’t be any different if I don’t
get on that bus.”
As a child, I thought that
Quantum Leap had hit a dry spell.
A whole episode on trying to get a boy on a bus
is a sure sign of writer’s block.
But that’s when I noticed
something about this boy.
It could have been the special effects,
it could have been the camera angle
or it could have been his soul igniting
with hope, passion, and the future.
I am reminded of this scene
when I start to feel doubt.
It helps me to remember
that the future holds
more of me than I do,
for I am still discovering myself.
Questions form in my mind
because this country is so impenetrable.
How hard am I gonna
have to become in order to break through
this thick-shelled, self-indulgent world?
But then I remember that it
really doesn’t matter right now.
Why? Because the boy got on the bus.
He was young, afraid, uneducated,
sheltered, poor, and black, yet
MLK Jr. got on that bus, alone.
It took him eight foot steps
to get from his mother’s arms
to the front of the bus where
he then tried to take a seat.
Then another eight strides to get to the back.
You could see in his eyes that
he was indeed learning.
Taking notes of the many wrongs,
gaining inspiration to make them right.
When he sat down and looked back at his mother,
there were tears in both their eyes,
he smiled. I remember that moment so vividly
that it traps my breath in my chest.
I sat there, legs folded, with tears falling.
My mom asked me what was wrong,
I went and cuddled up in her lap.
We sat there and cried for a while.
The power that pain holds
is all that you need to change the world.
We can’t see just how chaotic
it has all become, because
we are standing in the eye of the storm.
We are centered in this state of emergency,
but I am not ready yet.
I’m learning, I’m growing,
I am becoming stronger.
One day my doubts will have
transformed into truths and
my fears into bravery.
My pen will teach instead of
relentlessly playing my confidant,
because I just got on my bus and
took my first sixteen steps.