Julius Lester, circa 1965
Revolutionary Mandate 1
These are not the times to take your friends for granted — to assume
that they will always be there. They may not be.
And if you wait until the next time to tell them that they are very
special to you
You may wait until
someone calls you and says that
so and so's body was found
beneath the bricks
of a dynamited building or
so and so was blown like water from a fountain over a midnight
so and so was shot while he slept.
it is hereby mandated
(by the poets and artists and musicians who are responsible for
the spirit and soul of the revolution) that when you finish this poem
you are to call your brothers and sisters, and in your own way
make them know that you love them
that because of their love you have become more you
Let them know
Five minutes from now
You may never have the opportunity again.
Duke University Press
Durham, NC 27708-0660