Sister Lou Ella Hickman

she wrote

                        the first amendment: a social justice issue

                     the right of dissent makes all other rights possible

don’t lecture me about free speech!
she responded on my Facebook® thread
i wondered
how much grief has she buried beneath her anger
before i slept
my hurting heart curled
around a prayer:
i hope you will never
experience  someone  crushing
your words    your voice into silence


unless you change and become like little children

                                                                matthew 18:3-5


                                                                        concerning grief in our current crisis

our present season of dying and blame
now lies
like a fiery white shroud upon the body of our earth . . .
as i hear this blizzard season moan
and feel its bitter grip
i imagine a child
fierce with pain . . .
collapsed   sobbing until exhausted
then is finally lifted by a parent’s embrace . . .
to bed. . .
unlike that child
our fear prisons us in that bitter grip . . .
if we could discover our secret need of sorrow
hidden in the shadows
and know then
that our healing only comes
when we learn to weep
and weep into our own childlike sleep


denial’s grammar on climate change

it begins
with one no and this no
is one voice
which joins thousands of others . . .
this cacophony of no’s
discount all the varied faces of death
and so   they preach a stony vocabulary . . .
the language of accusation— 
these no’s, these voices
are unaware they die
their own sad daily death
they do not
would not

Sister Lou Ella Hickman, I.W.B.S. is a former teacher and librarian whose writings have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies; Press 53 published her first book of poetry in 2015 entitled she: robed and wordless. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2017 and in 2020.