Curtisj Johnson


She Cried - Poem by Curtisj Johnson

She cried
By Curtis Johnson

In the land where it seems that time stood still.
In the quiet and country land of the rich and the poor.
In the complex land where few were rich, and many were poor.
In the ‘dry county’ land of illegal corn whiskey and homemade brews.

This was the land of my early childhood,
Where the rich ruled the neighborhood;
And the poor toiled in servant hood.

Perhaps the richest fertile delta soil on the face of the earth;
In the land where cotton was king and in high demand; and everyone, rich and poor, bowed to its every command.

In this humble land where I spent the earliest years of my life;
It was a time before we owned television, telephones, or microwaves.
Mine was a farming community with tin roof and wood framed houses.

People of goodwill resided there with families to love and to provide for. There are many great stories that could be told about many of them. But this story is about a lady I once knew when I was a child.


It amazes me that she came to mind after some 50 years.
She lived far back across the fields, alone with not a care.
She was laughed at and talked about; some were afraid of her.

No one was ever harmed by her, and everyone stayed out of her way.
Even when they avoided her, it was difficult to escape the sound of her voice. Up close or across the fields, we heard her so clearly and sincerely crying, “H o l y! ”

She was not sociable, and perhaps even a bit eccentric. Though religious, she was not a Mother Teresa type of lady. I do not remember a smile from her toward anybody for any reason. Was she out of her mind as some suggested? Was she a voice crying in the wilderness? Was she on a divine assignment from God? Was she a saint or holy person? I most assuredly did not know then, and I am presently content to let God be the judge of that. But she had no doubt about her God being Holy, because with unrelenting commitment, she cried, “H o l y! ”

It’s clear to me that at some point, God became the center of her every affection. Indeed, she deemed it her mission to proclaim the Holiness of God to a needy people. So without refrain, fear, or hesitation, she simply continued to shout, “H o l y! ”

She was unconventional, unsophisticated, unconcerned, and unlike anyone I have ever known. She cared not about what people said, thought, of felt about her. She was fearless, and nothing mattered except her mission. She was called the ‘sanctified lady’; but time after time, come rain or come shine, she paid them no mind, and she never ceased or declined. She just cried, “H o l y! ”

I never knew her name or whatever became of her, but she was a small framed lady with a strong and deep sounding voice. It’s the cry of her voice that brings my eyes to tears. Without apology or regard for public opinion, from her home deep across the corn and cotton fields, we often heard her crying, “H o l y! ”

I don’t recall anything else she ever said, nor anything else she ever did. But I must say that if she was on a divine assignment, God must have been pleased with her. I suspect that it was a lonely and often cruel assignment causing pain and ridicule. But she bore the pain; she had nothing to gain; her message was clear and plain; she refused to refrain. She certainly was not popular, and I don’t remember a friend she ever had. But ever true to her task, from the depths of her soul, she cried, “H o l y! ”
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Topic(s) of this poem: eccentricity, fearless, stranger

Form: Prose Poem


Poet's Notes about The Poem

An odd person from a distant memory sparks tears and renewed respect

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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 11, 2015

Poem Edited: Saturday, September 12, 2015


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