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..
Comments about this poem (The Runaway Slave by John F. McCullagh )
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