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Sunday, June 07, 2020


by Sister Lou Ella Hickman, I.W.B.S.

Open palms by Pasqi

"If violence isn’t the way to end racism in America, then what is?” 
—Arwa Mahdawi, The Guardian, May 30, 2020               

i wrestled for days to discover
the one   right   thing
one answer to help heal
our nation’s white wound of privilege
what i learned in that starkness
was the anguished lesson
of my own poverty
that is   to sit in the stillness of solidarity
knowing there is no one right answer
save in the empty begging bowl
of the open palms of my hands
which i will fill
each night with my tears

Sister Lou Ella is a former teacher and librarian. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines such as America, First Things, Emmanuel, Third Wednesday, and TheNewVerse.News as well as in four anthologies: The Night’s Magician: Poems about the Moon, edited by Philip Kolin and Sue Brannan Walker, Down to the Dark River edited by Philip Kolin, Secrets edited by Sue Brannan Walker, and After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery for Life-Shattering Events edited by Tom Lombardo. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2017. Her first book of poetry entitled she: robed and wordless was published in 2015. (Press 53.)