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Below are poems written by poet Louise Nelson. Click the Next or Previous links below the poem to navigate between poems. Remember, Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth. Thank you.

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The Cross and The Lynching Tree

The Cross and The Lynching tree are the two most emotional depictions
Of the African experience in America when it comes to descriptions
The historical circumstances that define my people's struggle
Of the hatred, the pain and the injustice nothing but trouble
Torn down and broken hearted in the valley of despair
Death seemed like the only way to get out of there 
But my people were survivors and knew that one day change would come
They held on to their faith and hope because of the Holy One
They would not accept defeat, they would not accept doubt
They knew that somehow God would work it all out

Despair may seem so real but we have an endemic capacity to live
Knowing that God is on our side and mercy to us He did give
Glory Hallelujah they placed their hope in Christ
Despite the whip and lynching tree taking my people's lives

The Lynching tree symbolizes death and despair
While the Cross symbolizes eternal life and no fear
Transformed and transcended by the power of the Cross
In spite of white supremacy and the black lives that were lost
And we now know that there is nothing new under the sun
As what happened to my people also to Jesus it was done

The Cross is a redemptive symbol of faith, hope and trust
It depicts God's resurrection power that abides inside of us
And the harsh realities of slavery that my people endured
Had made them more stronger than ever before

Yet systemic lynching in still in affect and the world needs to see
What's truly happening in America's so called democracy
Black men are being killed almost every single day
A disproportionate number in prison or in economic disarray
Financial slavery in the form of unemployment or uneducated
But we held on believing we were truly emancipated
From the Crucifixion to the Middle Passage and beyond slavery
We know see the correlation between the Cross and The Lynching tree


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  1. Date: 5/25/2015 12:59:00 PM

    A compelling and thought provoking work!