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Honor This Day
Dedicated to the life of Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013)

When I was a child
I once heard a word
I wondered aloud
For it seemed quite weird
A news report suggested
A man had been arrested
Far too young to know
My life spent running in the fields
Playing baseball, freely walking
Along open avenues
Without fear
A simple reality
That contained
Certain love
Quiet guidance
Granted peace
Far away in a distant world
Untouched by my eyes
My age of living souls
Were being gunned down
Randomly with purpose
A driving brutality
Seemed normal …
To live freely
Without bullets or maim
That’s when I read a magazine
Newsweek recognizes
Ten years later
The Sharpeville massacre
Later that year Kent State
A couple of years earlier
A dream shatters … MLK Jr
And then the story about
Emmett Till I discovered
The slaughter of a young boy
One brutal moment after another
In 1975, I am a teenager
The war is over
We are protesting nukes
Low-impact en masse hostility
Seemed less effective
Than flowers
Hanging from rifle barrels.
I’m a sophomore now
Skipping school
Looking for a cause
A world reaching well past me
Existed on a principle of freedom
“Free Mandela”
Soweto uprising
End the strong arm
Of Apartheid
There it was
In rainbow colors
I could no longer
Simply run through the fields
Without realizing pain
While across the world
The news read gloomily
Of a distant opinion
His protest screamed agony
We must be educated!
In memoriam
I am the privileged one
I have lived to watch a man
Know freedom beyond words.

Dedicated to the life of Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013)

Thom Amundsen

About poetreecreations

I am an author writer publisher web administrator I run poetry workshops in the community. My published Manners childrens poetry book can be found at

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