Lynn W. Petty
To Learn, To Know, To Heal, To Grow - Poem by Lynn W. Petty
I'm often asked, 'What caused you to collect
Slave artifacts, and take them on the road,
Displaying them in cases, raw and real? '
My answer is a simple one, 'To heal.'
'To heal? ' they ask. 'What is there to be healed? '
I answer with paternal patience, as
I would a child. Then, I commence my tale.
It was not long ago two ladies stood
Together at a showing on my tour,
An African American and a
Caucasian. One to seek her heritage,
The other to find satisfaction that
Hyperbole was the foundation for
The stories of the hardships slaves endured.
Within my cases lies reality.
The sight of whips and branding irons had chilled
The heart and soul of the Caucasian, tears
Began to fill her eyes and, unabashed, she wept
Aloud in disbelief at what she saw.
'All lies. What I have read and learned are lies.'
The African American embraced
Her, and together, openly as one,
They wept. That moment was perfumed with hope
And strength. It was as if I had been bathed
In silence, with an element of love;
A fluid mist, which overflowed with life
And sweetness, flooding out hostilities.
There was a recognition as to man's
Inhuman acts of cruelty to man.
There was a glow of light and life. I saw
Magnificence within that scene. I saw
Within that tiny aspect 'Truth.' I saw
The dawn of reason shine upon the dust of years.
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