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Philadelphia, Mississippi

Updated on January 15, 2012

Where the sun always sets
They arrived
Armed with nothing
But truth
The Bill of Rights
And faith
They came
To do the right thing
To show them the rising sun
And how it exists
For everyone
No matter what they were told
No matter the lies
No matter the hate
The rising sun was there
Eclipsed by fear
Morning in America
Blinded their eyes
And they knew not to look
It was not for them
And as they looked away
Their long nights were empty
Without peace
Without justice
Without sleep
Not even a dream
And yet they remained
Although silent
They knew
Because hope grows
In the dark
And as they tilled the garden
They did dare to cultivate
By awaiting

The deliverer
And when the truth
In their midst
Those who were privileged
To see the sun rise
Remained silent
Even though they knew
Of the truth
And how it could never live
But finally
The deliverer did arrive
Heralded not by a trumpet blast
But with God’s message
In his heart and mind
And man's own words
As they were written
In his hand
How all men are created equal
He came
With solemn righteousness
With words
And a dream
He came
And told us of unmerited pain
And of burning churches
Where anguished cries
Once again were not heard
And how those who remained silent
Were the key to the idea
Of America
Where liberty
And Justice
Is for all
Where the sun rises
And sets
For every man
And woman
But on that day
When the evangelists
Of civil liberties
Were tortured
And buried
So their mothers could only weep
Over unmarked graves
The sun did set
And failed once again
To rise
As the children wondered
Why am I different?



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    • The Suburban Poet profile image

      Mark Lecuona 5 years ago from Austin, Texas

      @Uninvited Writer - Sorry I took so long to acknowledge your comment. I saw something on TV about this and it really got to me.... again.... Thank you.

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 6 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Amazing poem. I'm glad you remember these 3 heroes. People need to be reminded of the civil rights struggle daily...

    • The Suburban Poet profile image

      Mark Lecuona 6 years ago from Austin, Texas

      @lilyfly - Thank you! I just went with it...

    • profile image

      lilyfly 6 years ago

      I love the rythym, the non-rhyming. Thank you! lily

    • The Suburban Poet profile image

      Mark Lecuona 6 years ago from Austin, Texas

      @Christiansister - I hear you. You saw my poem "How Can I Laugh?" It was a blend of what you are saying and my own personal problems. Most people are stressed out about their daily lives and have no time to worry about things they believe to be beyond their control. There have always been money-changers and forces of greed and ambition and I guess people think it will always be so. All you can do is manage your own little circle. It's sad to give up and by cynical. That is why I write. This is my little circle and I say what I feel. Even a whisper is needed because change does occur. Remember the blacks were slaves at one point. There has been a shift but even though there is much to do the forces of good have succeeded in moving the rock to the point of morality... don't give up....

    • christiansister profile image

      christiansister 6 years ago

      Very good. My family is tired of hearing me talk of things such as these and the ones that are going on now(even more atrocious and sad).

      However, I have been seeing a disturbing trend in commercials and comics in the paper and movies. Older people are being portrayed as paranoid, dinosaurs afraid to come out of the dark ages.

      I see the destruction of our farmland and spreading of diseases thru pest control, tremendous pollution on purpose, wild weather that seems natural but is truly manufactured, mass media brainwashing and manufactured confusion to push agendas of control.

      Security fear that spreads greater mechanisms that only serve the proliferation of control.

      No watchers, are being heard. They are being ridiculed and labeled militant or crazy or radical and everyone is quick to follow blindly.

      Violence will never solve any problems. A call to arms for people who want change is a mistake. This is a quandary, what to do?

      Education is the key I thought. Help people see, do your part, tell what you find. Yes, that will bring change.

      But, so devastatingly no.

      People wish to dream that all is okay and go about there little lives and ignore or willingly not look at the truth.

      Sad times are coming, but this is no surprise for anyone who has an eye.

      I have constantly told my family that I will stop ranting, but every time a new day starts and I wake up, a new chapter of the same story slaps me in my face.

      And sadly, when the people can no longer deny and start to scream that they were suddenly overtaken without their knowledge.

      The response will be. No we have been showing you what we were doing the whole time and you did not care. You willing agreed with all that we implemented by your silence.

      What to say? What to do? Just keep on being ridiculed, ostracized and labeled. Or shut up and die inside.

      But, I love my country and it's people to much to lay quite and watch it happen. So, I will continue to talk and let my family and friends think I am crazy. And weep inside.

    • The Suburban Poet profile image

      Mark Lecuona 6 years ago from Austin, Texas

      @always exploring - yes it was a sad day; a horrible day; a day that makes me sick to my stomach... sorry to bring everyone down but I had to say something. It seems everytime I read or witness a problem I'm driven to write about it.... thank you...

      @Gocerson - Thank you for the very kind remarks.... I guess it's hard not to get your mind working when you think about that day.

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      Great really got my mind working...voted up....keep up the great work.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      What a sad day in America that was. I hope we've grown in love toward all people. We are all equal. Thank you.

    • The Suburban Poet profile image

      Mark Lecuona 6 years ago from Austin, Texas

      @Nan - thank you for commenting as you always do. I am privileged to gain your attention. I didn't want to be militant... just sad as that is how I feel. Watching the video of the local law enforcement officials and the looks on their smug faces made me sick.... yes there is much hate and we must always watch for this... ask the Muslim-Americans how they feel in this country if you can get them to open up about their fears of being rounded up like the Japanese were in WWII...

    • The Suburban Poet profile image

      Mark Lecuona 6 years ago from Austin, Texas

      @Robwrite - thank you for commenting. This piece may be a bit random in terms of timing but last night I was watching the ESPN series 30 for 30 about Marcus Dupree. For those who do not know, Marcus was probably the greatest high school football player ever and ended up wasting his talent. During the show they reviewed the history of his home town, Philadelphia, Mississippi and showed images of one of the worst moments in our nations history: the murder of the freedom riders. Anyway it got to me as this story always does and I felt like making a comment.

    • Nan Mynatt profile image

      Nan Mynatt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Beautiful prose without being militant. I marked you up on this one! There is so much hate in the United States and the world today, and there are still bleeding hearts.

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 6 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Well done. Very powerful.