Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Anderson's Lament

For my great-great-great Grandfather Anderson.

Anderson's Lament

A man of privilege born into a good family,
He had all of the makings of greatness.
His loving Dianna and the children all looked to him as a hero
And their expectations took him to stand for the Cause.
Four years he honorably served a nation destined for failure,
And with it his livelihood.

The thinly disguised looks of pity and disgust
Cut his soul to ribbons as childhood friends
Watched him open his land to sharecropping.
Better to starve with dignity, they said,
Than to do work that is beneath you.
They didn’t realize the old society was dead.
He was determined that his children would have better,
In this new world in which he had no place.

He signed it all legal with the attorneys that morning
Knowing full well that he was not strong enough
To stand idly by as the land was sold off, piece by piece.
Land that belonged to his father, and his father before him.
None of that mattered now; it was thoughts of his sweet Dianna
That filled his mind as the rope snapped taut
And the eternal darkness washed over him.


tipper said...

Just WOW! You know how big a fan of yours I am-I like everything you write-but this-is my favorite so far. Just so powerful. Just WOW!

Shirley Stewart Burns, Ph.D. said...

I agree with Tipper. This is an extremely powerful poem.... You are a gifted writer!

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

You've hit a home run out of the ballpark with this!

Granny Sue said...

This is a story poem, Matthew. Well-written and clear, and the photo sets off the powerful word picture you created of this man.