Juneteenth 2024

the day we were supposed to be free

in the swelter of summer's longest
afternoon the news arrived
late as always

two years and six months

behind the rest of the nation
our shackles remained

the general's proclamation

echoed through the pines
a hollow promise
of liberty

our bodies still bound

by the chains of commerce
our labor still stolen
our lives still priced

the day we were supposed to be free

but freedom's just a word
a whispered rumor
in the dark of our past

the day we were supposed to be free

still we wait
for the chains to fall
for the price to be paid

About this poem

The poem itself is about the delayed emancipation of enslaved people in the United States, specifically in Texas, where the news of the Emancipation Proclamation was not announced until two years after its issuance.

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Written on June 19, 2024

Submitted by JoeStrickland on June 19, 2024

36 sec read

Quick analysis:

Scheme A bxx x cxb c xxa x xcx A xxx A xxx
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 586
Words 120
Stanzas 12
Stanza Lengths 1, 3, 1, 3, 1, 3, 1, 3, 1, 3, 1, 3

Joe Strickland

Writer from South Carolina. Recently signed first publishing contract and is waiting for release date of first collection of poetry. I've never written a poem while completely sober. You can follow me on Twitter/X @JoeStricklandAU more…

All Joe Strickland poems | Joe Strickland Books

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Discuss the poem Juneteenth 2024 with the community...

  • israel_u
    During the Nigerian Civil War, it never occurred to us, that the war would ever end. But just one day, the war was over. Never give up on life.
    LikeReply23 days ago
  • israel_u
    Good news delayed is happiness denied.
    LikeReply 123 days ago
  • Lacey,J
    and the chains shall fall...one day.... thank you for sharing this hit my heart deep
    LikeReply 124 days ago
  • Abbykesington
    Wow, what a poem on emancipation!
    "Bodies still bound by the chains of commerce", got me.
    LikeReply 124 days ago


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"Juneteenth 2024" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Jul 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/190443/juneteenth-2024>.

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