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Saturday, June 23, 2018


by Lucille Gang Shulklapper

In this day of callous indifference,
in this day of sudden summer storms,
a little girl desires heart-showers,
seeks pillowed teardrops and yearns for

her beloved mother, in
this America we once valued,
now resting on balconies
built from stone,
once built from trees
with sheltered awnings.

She seeks the endurance of thought,
now ripped and torn
from their moorings.

What America wants and wanted,
sleeps the fitful sleep of near death.
Newborn birds call in her night.
Full-blown flowers die in her sun,
and America’s child is nobody’s child
when another’s child is buried
in hardened soil,
in cages and mylar
blankets of the unnamed.

Cry my beloved America,
as you struggle to shovel the dirt
to cover yourself. Silence falls
sharply. The greed of your shovel
buries you. Rest in peace.
Thoughts and prayers
are with you.

Lucille Gang Shulklapper's poetry and fiction have been anthologized and appear in numerous literary journals as well as in five collections of poetry and a picture book Stuck in Bed Fred.  Having written since she was six, but never published until she turned sixty, more than two decades ago, she urges her six grandchildren and many of her students to read and remember Langston Hughes' poem “Dreams”.