Poetry Drawer: Four Poems by Samantha Terrell

Our Children

Our children,
Who art of future generations,
May your lives be blessed,
Your dreams fulfilled,
Your hearts content for now and ever after.
Forgive us our socio-political mistakes and the work it will require of you,
As we must forgive our own parents and previous generations.
Do not be led into the temptations of hatred and hypocrisy,
But deliver yourselves from the paths of injustice and inequity.
For your children’s kingdom
Depends upon what you leave to them.


The life I thought I’d have,
But wasn’t it at all,
Became as much a surprise to me
As tulips in the fall,

That odd expectancy
Of unanticipated pregnancy.
Or, life bled from a story
As from humanity’s great vein.

A blanket was unfolded
To find, instead, a tapestry.
And, I didn’t so much unfold it,
As stop preventing it being opened.

Torn Photo Legacies

Towards the end,
You were tearing up photos
When we came to visit you,
Bring you chicken from your favourite restaurant,
Brew you coffee in the machine
We gave you for Christmas.

We asked you why you tore them.
You had a guilty look, but a realistic reply.
“No one wants them. I don’t have anyone left.” It was true.
What were we to you?
Family, yes, in a sense – but not relatives.
We don’t know anyone
Who knew who you once knew.

But, then again,
Breaking bread with you
Alongside our children
Was always more important
Than whomever you once
Broke bread with.

Mourning the Future

Children cry for many reasons
That adults ponder for many seasons
As they cry too
To understand
The tears of babes,
The punishments of man.

Freshly birthed, departed
From all that’s known, unaware of all that’s started
The healthiest
Newborn cries,
As mournfully as a parent
Who sees their grown child die.

Parents and children are separated
Because of politicians who have long loved to hate
The poor,
Vulnerable, and innocent,
While inculcating
Policies of ignorance.

Yet crying fails us.
Or does it? It may not solve what ails us.
But it expresses
A need,
For acknowledgment,
Making demands for a future we must heed.

Samantha Terrell is an American poet whose work emphasizes social justice and emotional integrity. Her poetry has been published in a variety of chapbooks and journals, including:  Algebra of Owls, Dissident Voice, Dove Tales by Writing for Peace, the Ebola chapbook by West Chester University (PA), Knot Magazine, Lucky Jefferson, Peeking Cat Poetry, Poetry Quarterly and others. Raised in the American Midwest, Samantha and her family now reside in Upstate New York.

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