Lynne Stewart

On Foley Square a songbird sings

The Square – slabs of concrete
Cobbled streets, medieval arches, forlorn dusty parks
Bleak citadels of justice

In these great halls
knowing righteous laws
fear destroys reason
Harsh sentence are pronounced
Innocent actions become
Punishable crimes

Here a bird sings

Legendary – like the Kuninglin-
Who hid in the plumage of an eagle
And soared above him to heaven.
A wren
Known for strong songs
That floods the skies

This a warm-blooded, two legged,
Feathered vertebrate
Plump – gray, sandy-haired
With a fearless grin
Is shut away
A bird who sings only in daylight
Her notes loud and clear
Round crystal globules of sweet sound
Pour through the black bars
Singing of innocence of wrong-doing
Pure of any intent
Only desire to do good
And kindness

We must hear her
She must not be ignored
Her song of sympathy
for all those oppressed,
misjudged, falsely accused
Wafts through the air
Telling us of the meaning of our existence
Empathy for all that lives

We must hear her message
Above the crushing litany of law
That stifles her voice

If justice ignores her song
We cannot survive
If we forget humanity
we will not survive


– Lillian Pollak
for the Granny Peace Brigade

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