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Beautiful Wall

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  • Beautiful Wall

    When the stork delivered Isaac to our home
    The lady next door brought bread and apple pies
    Everyone laughed chattering happily, tearing up
    And cooing over his bald head.

    When Mama lost her job she cried all the time
    The whole street cooked us heavenly feasts,
    Kissed us, blessed us, and gave Mama something
    Called a loan in the laundromat.

    They invited us to their Fourth of July parties
    Even though the fridge was bare with nothing to bring
    They asked us to come to church potlucks
    And Christmas Eve services knowing Mama would refuse.

    When there was no money for new or even clean clothes
    We seemed to get everything passed down
    Or from Goodwill that hadn’t been washed in ages
    No one at school said anything.

    When I was old enough to know the stork didn’t deliver,
    Margaret-June-to-be didn’t live, even with the midwife’s careful hands,
    The whole block came with flowers, candy, I’m-so-sorrys,
    Tears, and crying prayers.

    And when Papa went on a fishing trip and never came back,
    People flooded the whole house like weeklong rain floods a river
    They made us feel safe and comforted,
    A thousand new fathers and a million other mothers.

    Everyone was friendly even when nothing bad happened
    They welcomed and included us in a safe circle.
    My community wrapped its warm arms around me
    And built a beautiful wall that wasn’t to hide in, but to be strong.

  • #2
    Moving, beautifully told story. Captivating capture of Community.


    • #3
      Beautifully written.


      • #4
        Very sweetly written.


        • #5
          True community spirit captured in a poem


          • #6
            Yes, people helping people


            • #7
              I enjoyed reading this quite a bit. Thank you for sharing.


              • #8
                Your poem lists so many lovely aspects of a true community, sharing the celebrations and the sadnesses of every-day life. I love the contrast in the title 'Beautiful Walls", as my instinct is to think of walls as being cold and immovable, maybe even trapping someone in a place, but your poem demonstrates these walls as being an expression of safety, strength, reliability, comfort and belonging. You developed a lovely softness to the image that I started out with, turning negative to positive. Perfectly in tune with the topic.