FOCUS: Music of doves ascending

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Photo by Michael Kaynard, Kaynard Photography

By Marjory Wentworth, poet laureate of South Carolina

Yellow crime tape tied to the rod iron fence
weaves through bouquets of flowers
and wreaths made of white ribbons,
like rivers of bright pain flowing through the hours.

00_icon_poemWeaving through bouquets of flowers,
lines of strangers bearing offerings
like rivers of bright pain flowing through the hours.
One week later; the funeral bells ring;

lines of strangers still bring offerings.
Nine doves tossed toward the sun.
One week later; the funeral bells ring,
while churches in small towns are burning.

Nine doves tossed toward the sun.
Because there are no words to sing,
while churches in small towns are burning,
a blur of white wings, ascends like music.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth composed this poem, a pantoum, for a Unity concert in August following the June massacre of nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. With the one year anniversary of the shooting on June 17, we thought republishing the poem would be a good way to honor the Emanuel Nine. Later this month is the release of “We Are Charleston,” a book by Wentworth, writer Herb Frazier and historian Bernard Powers on the tragedy that got global attention.

Marjory Wentworth, a Mount Pleasant writer whose poems have appeared in numerous books, is poet laureate of South Carolina. You can find more of her work at: http://www.marjorywentworth.net/

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