Song of the South: Will the Circle Be Unbroken?

Thinking of my discussion about creating alternative ways of being family and our respective journeys toward healing in our families reminded me of one poem I wrote about someone’s experience coming to peace with issues in their family.

I hope it blesses you!

Your progressive redneck preacher,



Will the Circle Be Unbroken?

Child Abuse StatisticsSilent he sits, surrounded by shouts approaching crescendo

that resound about him, echoing from hard-wood kitchen floors,

He hides, shivering behind piled boxes with nowhere to go,

yet forted in by abandoned piles of paper, spread door to door

scraps of failed get-rich schemes and shopping sprees that flow

about him like chaotic yet protective moat.


Perhaps if no-one sees, he can go chameleon,

become invisible in that chaotic river

covered by the litter, with no one

to hit, chase, or holler



like a whisper

under the shouting voices


Then he looks and sees her, small and frightened

“Come close sister”

“My fort will shelter

you too”


Years pass, centuries it seems.

He stands, beard grizzling face

strong, tall, as he once dreamed

in another cluttered space,


The sounds of familiar shouting echoes

amidst streams of boxes, jewels, receipts

flowing like an avalanche on his soul.

Seeing the center, his heart skips a beat:


mother with baby in lead sunsetanother child, not wizened by the years,

encircled by the trembling noise.

Hand reaching out, eyes on verge of tears

its mouth opens, in familiar voice:


“Mommy dearest, do you hear me?

Daddy dearest, do you see?

Where, O Where is my safety

sitting upon your knee?

Why am I so frightened?

Your voice ought to bring peace.

How I long for one to hold me;

instead I must run and flee”


The world spins, the ground falls

jaw dropping, I realize it is me.




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