John F. McCullagh

(09/28/1954 / Flushing)

The Runaway Slave





I strain my ears at every sound
As I flee from Masters vast estate
I dare not walk upon the road-
must not be seen, alone, this late.


I hear the baying of his hounds
My absence has been noted there
Men with torches, men with guns,
My soul freezes me with fear.


I am the fox, his are the hounds
that I must run a desperate race
To fail is to be chained and whipped
Then sold – a horrid fate I face


The dogs grow close, but the river's near
I leap and overcome my fear.
The water will disguise my scent
With swift strong stokes I'll soon be clear

With joy I hear the hounds, confused,
barking, helpless, and at bay.
But master gets me in his sights
And sets me free another way.

I awaken from sleep with a start.
One nightmare stops, the next begins
I shower, shave and dress for work
and wonder if it ever ends..



Submitted: Thursday, April 08, 2010
Edited: Thursday, April 08, 2010

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