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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 it 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 they 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 lain 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 all too well

That night she fled due 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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