Cleft For Me

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Based on the true story of 4 young black girls killed in a bombing at their church in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

Submitted: July 20, 2018

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Submitted: July 20, 2018



Cleft for Me


Four small whispers can now leave rehearsal,
the last cigarette has been ground to ashes.

It was once important for us to kill some Negroes,
no matter how many times they claimed to fear God—
no matter how pretty their dime store dresses were—
no matter how late they were for choir practice.

In the whole of Birmingham, 1963,
freedom smelled a lot like gunpowder residue
on the hands of Bobby Frank Cherry.

Four shadows from another mangled storm shelter
can now share Cokes on hot summer revivals
and find Sister Henrietta's eyeglasses for her.

While I draw this
fleeting breath,
When my eyes
shall close in
I shall fly
to worlds unknown,
And behold thee
on thy throne.

Now is the day four little singers
found their way back
to the 16th Street Baptist church,

after getting lost in another man's smoke.

© Copyright 2019 Michael Pollick. All rights reserved.

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