They took up shovels, pickaxes, bare fingers to pry up the seedlings, the saplings just taking root and the seeds just planted still watered by the sweat and tears of those who lovingly tilled the brittle soil.
They offered nothing in return, barren ground where only anger grew, fertilized by fear, by by greed, by blindness.
Will we sit by and watch as promises wither under an ever stronger, more glaring sun, as hopes are blown away by arid winds, or will we again return to the soil, start over, our faith now perennial.
If you truly believe that God created every creature individually, it is all His intelligent design, then why the apple in the Garden, and why both crocs and alligators, wouldn’t one have been sufficient, and why, just why have mosquitoes at all, ever?
I won’t bother asking why God gave us free will, since you say He will punish us if we use it other than as He directed, and you know the directons better than anyone.
For that matter, why termites and fire ants, alternative purposes seem wholly lacking, and above all, and beyond all logic and even beyond omniscience, what in the name of God was He thinking when He created the politician?
They arrive after a long flight from tyranny, from oppression from the nightmare of endless fear, from hunger, from faith denied, from the bottomless depths of poverty, scarred memories etched in their souls, hoping for an ending as much as wishing for a new beginning. They have been here, a new generation, raised on the stories, versed in the painful history, still residual anger born of love for those who fled, without the pain of experience, who can forget when it is others who now wish only to arrive to the freedom they have known since childhood
Imagine, for just a moment, you have become a crow. You know that you will be detested by most eventually, your voice despised by all who are forced to hear it. And while you can fly, you know you won’t be more welcome regardless of where you choose to land.
If you cannot imagine this, then imagine you have become a politician, for that will, for you, prove to be much the same as crowhood, the biggest difference being your new need to grovel before all, because the loss of that job would be an unbearable state.
We are planning the funeral for Roe today, eulogies fully ready, for we are certain the death was slow and painful and now all we can do is mourn.
Some we know will not attend, Brown out of fear, knowing the eventual consequences of this loss, Miranda because he is already marked, hounded by those in power, an easy mark.
Sullivan may be there, happy that he can go after them again if they even speak his name innocently or by mistake.
It will be a sad moment, one we have dreaded of late, one we thought would never come and we will mourn our dear friend Stare Decisis*, stabbed in the back by those who vowed to defend him.
N.B. As you may know or have guessed, I am a happily retired attorney, who was taught that stare decisis should be sacrosanct. Brown is the landmark school segregation case, Miranda the much eroded protection for those under police custody, and Sullivan the case on defamation establishing a higher standard that plaintiffs must meet if they are public figures. It remains a hallmark of First Amendment law regarding freedom of the press.
Stare decisis is the doctrine that courts will adhere to precedent in making their decisions. Stare decisis means “to stand by things decided” in Latin.
The gravestones, in random shapes line the hill the morning chill creeps between them and onto the runway until washed away by the spring sun slowly pushing upward as the jet noise washes the hill unheard
He passed away quietly in his bed ending his dread of the cancer slowly engulfing him his vision dimmed by the morphine that pulsed through his veins. He paused to remember the first spring rains.
She selected the plot on the hillside she would confide to friends, so that he might see the valley at long last free, to see the flowers bloom in early spring, the land that was his home and he its king.
One summer the caskets were carried out while the devout cursed the sacrilege of the master plan of the madman who decided that the airport must sit on the hill, his valley forever split.
The jets rush over the cemetery February snows blown across the gravestones in their wake as one snowflake melts slowly on the ground, a falling tear which, unheard, marks another passing year.
First Appeared in Candelabrum Poetry Magazine (UK), April 2002.
It is coming, a little over a week now and it will arrive, always too soon, never ready despite knowing its precise arrival day and time.
We will be ready, but only after a scramble, for that is how it must be, how it has always been.
And again this year we will be thankful, as all claim on this day, but why do so many forget the giving part of things, giving to those without, to those within who lack, to those who only want to come within to escape a without we dare not imagine for the nightmares and terror we would suddenly have to feel.