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Stolen Time

Alone in bitter cold she wept

The stinging tears burned her eyes

A piece of his on her neck she kept

T’was all she had, her only prize

She sat by the side of the lake

Reminiscing of a love so early gone

Eyes closed, she thought of her mistake

Easy trust she gave, but was so wrong

Forbidden love came forth at fall

Two colors making it seem uncouth

For cause of love they risked it all

Black and white, a deadly truth

In moonlit fields they met at night

O’er the hill, across the lake

Following shadows, out of sight

Believing not a thing their love could shake

Whispered truths and happy times

Holding hands in grass so tall

How could this be such a crime?

How could love not win all?

A token of love he kept out of reach

Nothing big, a slave couldn’t afford

Just a seashell he found upon the beach

A necklace made from a whip’s cord

She won her gift with a kiss

Sparkling eyes were his reward

To give her up he’d be remiss

Not to fight; hand, axe or sword

A plan was hatched one night near dawn

For her to leave, for him to flee

Theirs would wake to find them gone

Sorrow at home, on the run with glee

Talk of a future gave him strength

Talk of a future made her believe

Her womanly gift given at length

Together a dream they did weave

Their plan would take some years

But waiting brought strife, things weren’t right

A sister’s concern led to listening ears

The dark secret brought horror to light

A sister’s concern turned to sister’s disgust

Pleading tears fell upon a cold heart

Ashamed for giving up her trust

Fleeing to him to tell her part

No time to plan, no time to run

Bigotry always acted fast

One last pledge of love was won

But both knew it wouldn’t last

He held her close and promised light

He’d love her until his very last breath

That all the wrong would turn to right

He said he was not afraid of death

For three summers bliss remained

Stolen time was all they sought

But at the time prejudice reigned

At her sister’s hands they were caught

Death was the inevitable fate

Her heart was crushed as he was led away

Angry mobs could anticipate

The example to be made that day

It’s forbidden!” They cried in spiteful jeers

Fifty lashes were laid upon his back

His stoic stance showed no fears

Empathy and love this crowd did lack

Pulling him up towards the hill

A haunting tree revealed his fate

Trusting that this was God’s will

He marched along with no debate

She cried from afar as she watched him go

Clutching her neck as she fell

Unable to watch, already she did know

The end she knew very well

That night she fled up north, no pause

Unconditional love fueled her flight

Saving his babe was her only cause

Disregarding any new plight

But thirty years later she returned

A woman who lived with freedom abounds

From hatred, from everything burned

She showed her daughter and grandkids around

She told them of her love and of their past

She told them of heroism and cowardice

Explaining that life just goes too fast

To live with cruelty, hate or avarice

Lessons were learned, a lesson to instill

Goodnights were said as she turned out the light

Now alone she stands upon that hill

Where he died that fateful night

Tears have all dried

A smile returns

For all who have died,

Give lessons to learn

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