David L. Hatton

David L. Hatton Poems

Dred Scott, Dred Scott!
What is truth, and what is not?
Do the Justices agree?
In your skin of ebony


She is woman... and much abused:
Her lovely womb and breasts and buttocks were infused
With sordid meaning, twisted thought,
By vain imagination packaged, sold, and bought.

Our grieving father Abraham — of faithful hearts the head —
Had bargained for a Hittite cave where he could place his dead,
His spouse and sister Sarah, who was partner in God's will
To bring the promised blessing, which their Offspring would fulfill.


If you can stay a virgin, while all about you,
Others toy with sex, and play that game without you;
If tempted just as friends are on the campus scene,
You don’t give in, but keep your heart and body clean;

Paint clouds that really rain
And noisy, running streams,
Or birds that can take flight
And sing beyond your dreams,

I sing the body immortal,
inborn longing, reflexive wish, certain vision
of flesh immune to death's decay and death.


Grief is the stretch beyond the pain,
A long and bitter-sweet refrain.

I trace again a trail we walked,

The growth of our dreams
and our ambitious schemes
To accomplish still more as we age
Are proof, while alive,

The Best Poem Of David L. Hatton

Dred Scott

Dred Scott, Dred Scott!
What is truth, and what is not?
Do the Justices agree?
In your skin of ebony
does a human being dwell?
'No, Dred Scott, go back to hell!
Born a slave, a slave you'll be.
Only humans can be free.'

Dred Scott, Dred Scott!
What's the judgment that you got:
not a person, just a sale,
open to a bull whip's tail,
open to abortion's knife,
black-skinned slave without a life,
property until the tomb,
modern baby in a womb?

Dred Scott, Dred Scott!
It's their choice to let you rot.
Highest Court in all the land
cannot see that you're a man,
cannot hear your silent scream,
cannot raise the moral steam
to refuse a so-called right:
justice blind to freedom's light!

Dred Scott, Dred Scott!
Some break laws to change your lot.
Maced, they're dragged away by cops,
while you plow the slaver's crops.
What is Congress waiting for?
Do they want the Civil War?
Do they want plantations burned?
Babies die while backs are turned.

Dred Scott, Dred Scott!
Justices Supreme forgot!
In decisions where they lied
God will never let them hide!
Abolitionists will win!
Truth in time exposes sin:
holocausts, the death-camp flames,
Murdered babies without names.

(10/14/1991, from Poems Between Heaven and Hell)

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