Witch Hazel Tree by Dorothy Waters

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These poems are part of a special section of the Mid-Atlantic Review, Celebrating Black History, and selected by editors Khadijah Ali-Coleman, Carolivia Herron, and Rebecca Bishophall. To learn more about this series read a blog post on the Day Eight website here.

Witch Hazel Tree

by Dorothy Waters

“Benjamin Hance, an African American man, was lynched June 17, 1887 in Leonardtown, St. Mary’s County. The men took Hance to the outskirts of town and hung him from a witch hazel tree.” – msa.maryland.gov

What

Is

The

Crime against Benjamin

Hance

His hue

Aroused

Zealots

Earnest in their

Lynching of him

They tortured and hung him with

Racism and

Evil and

Excuses

Dorothy Waters is a Maryland native – mother of one, grandmother of one, and mother-in-love of one. She was born to talented parents among twelve siblings. She writes poems sporadically – sometimes to suit special occasions or events, sometimes to remember or honor someone, or just on a whim. She realizes that the placement of words and the way they are configured and formed can compel you to laugh, to cry, to think, to sigh, to remember, to understand, to grieve. Her poems are written from snippets of conversations, interesting word groups, the sounds or appearances of nature or mankind, and just general observations. She knows that words and how they are written, spoken, sung or perceived – matter.

Featured image in this post is Witch Hazel Tree in Hillsboro, Oregon by M. O. Stevens, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share, wikimedia commons.

Editor
Editorhttp://www.dayeight.org
Bourgeon’s mission, through our online publication and community initiatives, is twofold: to increase participation in the arts and to improve access to the arts. Bourgeon is a project of the not-for-profit Day Eight.
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