At the Foot of the Burning Cross

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

Submitted: August 18, 2018

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Submitted: August 18, 2018



It crackles like a friendly campfire,

But there are no songs sang here,

Only ghost stories whispered

In the dead of night.


Jesus’s Black body, 

Resurrected in billowy smoke,

Writhes in pain from the heat.


The scent singes my nose hairs.

It smells of burning.

Burnt memories of ancestor

Fill the surrounding space with sorrow.


The warmth feels familiar

Upon my face.

I have been here before.

We have been here before.

There is no comfort.


The wood begins to char

And the dark night

Bends its blackness

As a bow to the flames

And I wonder how long

This will continue.


They call this lighting, Lord,

Like you are not the true light.

Like these flames dare

To compare to your might.

Like we are not your people,

Made in your image.


As much as they hate my black skin

They love to live in darkness,

Moving among shadows,

Cloaking themselves in false innocence.

They are the lost souls of this land.

The ghosts sworn to haunt me.

Driven by selfish desires,

Do they not see the devil in their fires?


The grass around the cross is scorched.

The hum of bugs 

Has long ran away from here.

The starlight is blocked by smoke.

The air is thick and heavy on my skin.

I feel it seeping in.

I fear what I will become.


I do not wish to be a burn offering,

But the alternative

Is to turn this fear into hate

For the sake of survival

And it’s a path I’m tempted to take.

Because, Lord,

How do you beat tangible terror

With far away faith?

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