On The Guilt of Freedom – Some Prose and A Poem

I love these words, and today especially:

My country,’ tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims’ pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring! 

(Samuel Francis Smith)

So beautifully poetic and wonderfully patriotic.  The lines are so nicely broken up and the  meaning  – really – brings tears to my eyes.

I’m feeling grateful and sentimental this 4th of July.  So many anti-freedom acts are being committed in our world today.  Violent and emotional acts of coercion.

I am also feeling guilty today.  My family’s own freedoms – in the 16-1700’s came at the price of the lives of Native Americans and slaves and all that I’ve rallied against in my  life.  I realize the difficulties in forgiving.  Our country (the world, actually) depends on forgiving and moving forward more knowledgeable than our parents or their parents or their parents.  It’s called evolution.  I call it the Evolution of A Feeling Global Society.

And here is my poem offering for today.

On The Guilt of Freedom

We came
to escape and
as is human nature
– vile though it may be –
we survived.
So many innocent
helpless lives
on behalf of freedom
– depending on which side
of which line you stood.
We came
to escape.
So much
is lost to fear.
So much is gained
reflecting then
and now.


What We Never Knew – Fiction

Time for another installment of   Friday Fictioneers  hosted by Rochelle.  100 words or so based on the image below. Click on the froggy link (after this piece) and come join us!

I hope people will also enjoy the afterthought I’ve added to this piece…the music that inspired me:

walking trailWhat We Never Knew

The museum came to number objects in the house for their Dust Bowl exhibit. Grandpa hadn’t changed much since Grandma had disappeared.  The farmhouse and barn they’d built was as Midwest as ever.  It’s all a Bed and Breakfast now – west of Topeka.

I was spending one last night at the old place.  I was sitting cross-legged on an old feathered guest bed reading Grandma’s last letter home to Grandpa:

…I know you’ll never understand the workings of my frail mind, dearest love.  I’m sorry.   I’m not strong enough to stay.  Stella refused to come with me…

Your loving,



**I’ve been trying – for a year or more – to write something, anything, to show my totally lost feelings for the  words to this song – and these images.  These words and these images so relevant to us – always.

I’ve read that, during the Dust Bowl,  women hung themselves over the impossibility of living up to the expectation of keeping a clean house.  As a woman, this fact won’t leave my mind.

Here is the song that inspired this story.   Thank you for reading and listening.


photo prompt Copyright Dawn Landau