Beggars Of Iron

Beggars of Iron
by Mary Naylor

A tiny plant struggled to grow.
It lifted yellow, brittle leaves,
Dented beggars' cups, to the sun's glow.
Its warty roots gripped the hard dirt, and cleaved.

The fragile stalk clasped the roots, in its grasp,
The rain fell in stinging drops,
The wind gusted in harsh blasts,
Until, weary, dusk sank into shadowy flocks.

Over two hundred years ago,
Hungry people were put on ships.
They were sent to live in a harsh world.
Weak from jail, they prayed through dry, cracked lips.

A plant grows with roots, stalks and leaves,
Chanting flowers like hymns into the wind, and, as if it were a sin,
Sipping life from the soil; thusly, it receives
And releases, priceless rosaries of pure oxygen.

As plants claimed the rock hard soil,
And sank their roots into the earth,
Together, the men and women worked and toiled,
And, one day, to a land of freedom, gave birth.

Who can stop roots from digging down deep?
Who can stop the sweep of the wind, holding freedom in its keep?
Who can stop the unfettered crash of ocean waters?
Who can stop people from weaving freedom, into the dreams, of sons and  daughters?

by Mary Naylor

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