poetryrepairs #236 v17.04:047

SUE LITTLETON : A Proud and Gentle Nation
SUE LITTLETON : Another Syrian Child

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A Proud and Gentle Nation

As citizens we declare our purity of thought and action As we decry the terrible deaths Of barbaric cruelty meted out by the Muslim extremists. A line of fire crawling toward a caged man dressed In an orange suit, His screams as the flames envelop him; Knives sawing at the unprotected throats Of innumerable hostages dressed in other orange suits. How easily we have forgotten our past barbarities to minorities; Waco, Texas, 1916, and the death of Jesse Washington, aged 17, A mentally challenged young black man dragged from jail After a two-hour trial for the murder of a white woman, a farmer’s wife. Jesse worked for the farmer. They put a chain around his neck, lit a bonfire beneath him, Cut off his fingers when he tried to climb the chain. A man came forward and castrated him Jesse was raised and lowered Raised and lowered again and again into the leaping flames To the screaming approval of 16,000 onlookers 16,000 white faces watching with atavistic joy As Jesse finally expired in agony. The photos of the hanging, blackened corpse, were made into postcards And sold to be kept in family albums For 99 years. The lynchings and burnings continued well into the 1960’s Until finally we could all relax and forget, remind ourselves (by comparison ) what GOOD people we Americans are! And what cruel evil bastards the jihads are, How very different from us! But wait! Before we can condemn others we must first recognize and condemn ourselves for past horrors That we may learn to truly exercise the mercy we pretend.

poetryrepairs #236 v17.04:047

Another Syrian Child

The sea nibbles gently at the shore, kisses lightly the small crumpled body lying at its edge as if asleep. A child, a boy of three, neatly dressed-- relaxed hands half cupped behind him, one cheek pressed against the sand, dark hair slightly disheveled, the soles of his sturdy shoes (a little large, bought that way so his feet could grow) turned toward the camera. He and his five year-old brother were going to sanctuary with their desperate parents. Sanctuary somewhere— anywhere that would receive them, refugees from a hellish war that has no ending— Children born into an existence that had never known peace. Their small boat capsized on the way to another life and only the father survived. He returned to Syria to bury his family. Two more small deaths of Syrian children and their hapless mother-- a heartbreaking photograph. But this time the image of that one small death would shake a once blasé world into a terrible awareness.

poetryrepairs #236 v17.04:047


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SUE LITTLETON. I have been a fan of Sue Littleton since I first met her and started reading her poetry. ...."Thank God for Sue and her Wonderful Poetry" and her insight into the humanity of us all and the little forgotten beauties around us. The emotions we so often can not express...she can...simply and beautifully. I never read poetry until I found and bought her book "The Ranch on the Pecos" (the original). Now I can not imagine not having ALL of her books in my house. Sue's Fan. Glenna Sieracki