Cycles

David A Whitfield 1966 (Sherman TX)



What goes around comes around
The past, on a steady repeat
If it’s happened before, it’ll happen again
A vicious cycle to complete.
Ghost town, they walk around, without a sound
Within a frame, forgotten name, of distant fame.

Interwoven paths on this sidewalk of life
Yesterday’s faces stare back at you
We’re kin for there is too much in common.
Faces from today know that it’s true.
No separation. One blind nation.  Dull hesitation.
Make a move, disapprove, the past remove.

A thing too terrible to mention
Becomes too difficult to correct,
A vice, a sin, not purged within
Silently grows from neglect.
Marching feet, up the street, fairness cheat
Bias made, masses swayed, birthright delayed.

The stones saw it happen. The buildings did too.
If they could speak, they’d cry along with you.  
The angry mob gathered hate upon hate.  
It built with nothing to satiate.
Including all atrocities ever known.  
Passed down from father to son.  
Unfairly laid on the shoulders of man.  
Unfairly invoked, this evil plan.  
In just a few, the jealousy grew
With each hurled insult the bigotry spewed.
Gnarled bois d’arc thrust in the spokes,
The wheels of justice halted and broke
For evil knew best it thought
With one swift blow its “justice” wrought

And when at last it finally was done,
When at last the safe was blown,
The crowd in frenzied hate and fury
Dragged the body all way to Mulberry.  
Past Andrews edifice to the tree on Branch.
Clamorous and demanding, the evil stench
Arose in devilish garb no man knew he owned until
It circled and wreaked its calamitous will.  
The wrong that cries out to be righted
The indecency pointed at one another
Has never been white against black
But brother against brother.

About this poem

This poem, penned in 2021, alludes to the current stonewalling by county officials to approve an historical marker noting the May 9, 1930 burning of the county courthouse in Sherman TX by a mob intent on extracting an accused black man before his trial. The subsequent rioting leveled the black business district and terrorized the black community in the city. The event has been hushed and swept under the rug for almost 100 years. This work suggests that healing cannot begin until the cycle is broken and community leaders talk about and acknowledge what happened here.  

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Submitted on September 16, 2021

Modified on March 31, 2023

1:28 min read
130

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABXBAX XCDCDX DEXEBX CCXAFDGGCXXXHH DFIIXXJJXKXK
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 1,703
Words 296
Stanzas 5
Stanza Lengths 6, 6, 6, 14, 12

David A Whitfield

David A Whitfield is a mailman by trade. He writes prose and poetry about life in general. More specifically, he is fascinated by the historical overlay of the downtown area of the city he carries mail in every day. The old buildings and the ancient faces that used to occupy them are a point of much historical research for him. He is currently working on a memoir of sorts that will delve into fun and interesting anecdotes of his over thirty-five year career as a mailman. You can look for his poems here on poetry.com more…

All David A Whitfield poems | David A Whitfield Books

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    "Cycles" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 12 Jun 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/109701/cycles>.

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