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Monday, October 23, 2017


by Sister Lou Ella Hickman

A homeless man on a park bench in Brooklyn. Credit Spencer Platt/Getty Images via The New York Times.

how many have I seen fall     countless
as every flag has carried into battle
yet you have not asked me
how I should be honored because of them
so I have remained silent  until    now
honor    the word  the thought  the ideal
that raises everyone to something greater  noble   true
however trite that may sound
so I would have honor in other words
those that give voice to the silenced
to speak for the few, the different . . .
even those who oppose your own heart’s path
I am only cloth and color    the value I have is from you
and when you Pledge  make  those words real
for I fly not just for those countless lost or maimed
but also for those whose living defeats them
for everyone whatever stripe or shade of flesh
standing is but a moment   a song  a brevity
let all this honor be your life time  your daily gratitude
for those I saw fall and die

Sister Lou Ella Hickman has been an all-level teacher and a librarian. Presently she is a freelance writer and a spiritual director. Her poems and articles have been widely published in numerous magazines. One of her poems was published in the anthology After Shocks: Poetry of Recovery for Life-Shattering Events edited by Tom Lombardo. Her first book of poetry she: robed and wordless published by Press 53, was released in the fall of 2015.