Thursday, September 29, 2016

How the Finch Stole Racism

(with apologies to Dr. Seuss and Harper Lee)

Every White down in Maycomb liked Racism a lot…
But the Finch, the top lawyer in Maycomb, did NOT!
The Finch hated Racism, the whole racist system.
The Racism Fairy had just up and missed ’im.
It could be his brain was too big for the hate,
It could be his heart was two sizes too great.
Whatever the reason, he did what he could
To lead by example and try to be good.
And when a black man faced a false accusation,
The Finch was appointed to his defendation.
“It’s going to be hard,” he thought, “tougher than tough,”
“But I’ll truth out the truth, and I’ll hope it’s enough.”
He quizzed and he questioned, he researched his case,
“I MUST see a verdict on TRUTH and not RACE!”
The night before trial day he stayed at the jail,
Just waiting and reading until, without fail,
They came with their pitchforks, their nooses, their guns,
These small-minded drunkards, the paws and the sons,
All hopped up on whiskey and rarin’ to lynch.
But all were repelled by the might of the Finch.
He sent them home shamefully, back from their sport,
To see that real justice was done in the COURT.
And when the day came, well, he spoke all his speeches,
He tugged his suspenders, besought his beseeches,
And proved without question or shadow of doubt,
The man they brought in should be sent right back out.
He wasn’t the culprit, committed no crime,
But it wasn’t the place, and it wasn’t the time.
And when the white jury returned their decision,
Each “Guilty” cut deep, like a dagger’s incision.
“We’ll make an appeal,” The Finch promised his client,
“A more open-minded court might be more pliant!”
But well before he could be cleared of the crimes,
The innocent man was shot seventeen times.
And all of the white folks in town looked aside,
They whistled and gossiped and took it in stride.
And the Finch, with his fairness and lofty ideal,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could this be real?”
And he puzzled all day ’til his puzzler was sore!
Then the Finch thought of something he hadn’t before.
Maybe justice, he learned, doesn’t come from the Court.
Maybe justice, perhaps, falls a little bit short.
He HADN’T stopped Racism from coming! IT CAME!
Somehow, like always, it came just the same!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


If I give a dollar
And you give a nickel,
If she gives a holler
And he gives a pickle,
If we give a mitten
And maybe a glove,
If they give a kitten,
A cake, and some love,
If clouds give some thunder
And trees give some fruit,
If children give wonder
And owls give a hoot,
If stars give believers
And seas give a clam,
If otters and beavers
Could just give a dam,
If hands give a flower
And feet give a dance,
And all give an hour
To give peace a chance,
If ends give the middle
And arms give a hug,
If all give a little
And none give a shrug,
We might find we all
Have much more for the giving—
More light and more laughter,
More loving, more living.