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Saturday, October 26, 2019


by Shelly Blankman

How do you say goodbye? Always a brew
of duty and love, a fusion of friendship and
family. Stir in politics and the recipe can
kill the comfort of mourners united in grief.

This country said goodbye to a statesman
and grieved in prayer and song, in speeches
and memories by colleagues, family, friends,
religious and political leaders. Those who knew

him and those who did not. Thousands filled
the church and lined the streets to honor a
man loved by the people he served, reviled
by a government he angered with his staunch

defense of human rights and lifetime lessons
of common sense. Absence of a president
unnoticed in the presence of a humble hero.
Elijah Cummings, a Baltimore native, would

certainly have sunk into the annals of history, if
not for raising the spirits of those mired in chaos
and despair. A sharecropper’s son who lived what
he’d learned and left the legacy of a legend.

Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Shelly Blankman now lives in Columbia, Maryland with her husband, three cat rescues and a foster dog. Her poetry has appeared in First Literary Review-East, The Ekphrastic Review, Halfway Down the Stairs, and other publications