Social Justice Poetry

Tears | A Social Justice Poem by Diane Woodward Dorff

“Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that’s the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing. Nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or a valley. For fear will rob him if he gives too much.”
Alan Paton – Cry, the Beloved Country

cry, the beloved country
weep for the rising oceans undefended
grieve for the freshness of the air unshielded
for the forgotten cost of the purity of rivers
abhor the leaders investing themselves in themselves
mourn the babies raised in uncertainty
but let not the growing children
safeguard their hearts in mistrust
let them give their hearts beating with wonder
to the silver-green bending grasses
to the branches of willows holding all their breath underneath
to the secret days that turn the wheat from green to golden
to the green sky holding the water that makes the rainbow
let the young ones cleave to their beloved country
unafraid of tears


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