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Tuesday, February 28, 2023


an erasure/found poem
by Joanne Kennedy Frazer

from John Lewis’s essay published in The New York Times on the day of his funeral 

Motivated by human compassion,
set aside race, class, age, 
language and nationality
to demand respect for human dignity.
Democracy is not a state.
It is an act.
Build the Beloved Community,
a nation and world society 
at peace with itself.
The vote is the most powerful 
nonviolent change agent 
in a democratic society.
We are all complicit 
when we tolerate injustice.
Each of us has a moral obligation
to stand up, speak up 
and speak out.
Redeem the soul of America 
by getting in good trouble, 
necessary trouble
Let freedom ring.
Walk with the wind,
brothers and sisters
Let the spirit of peace
and the power of everlasting love
be your guide.

Joanne Kennedy Frazer, a retired peace and justice director and educator for faith-based organizations, is a third-act-of-life poet. She enjoys writing on issues of justice, the natural world and spirituality. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, journals and e-zines. Her second chapbook Seasonings (Kelsay Press), will be published in early 2023. She lives in Durham, NC.