Poem: ” Old South Meeting House” by Poet January Gill O’Neil

0 Posted by - March 1, 2018 - LATEST POSTS, Poems

January Gill O’Neil was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and received a BA from Old Dominion University and an MFA from New York University. She is the author of Misery Islands (CavanKerry Press, 2014), winner of a 2015 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence, and Underlife (CavanKerry Press, 2009). She has received fellowships from Cave Canem and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund.

Old South Meeting House

by January Gill O’Neil

We draw breath from brick
step on stones, weather-worn,
cobbled and carved

with the story of this church,
this meeting house,
where Ben Franklin was baptized

and Phillis Wheatley prayed—a mouth-house
where colonists gathered
to plot against the crown.

This structure, with elegant curves
and round-topped windows, was the heart
of Boston, the body of the people,

survived occupation for preservation,
foregoing decoration
for conversation.

Let us gather in the box pews
once numbered and rented
by generations of families

held together like ribs
in the body politic. Let us gaze upon
the upper galleries to the free seats

where the poor and the town slaves
listened and waited and pondered
and prayed

for revolution.
Let us testify to the plight
of the well-meaning at the pulpit

with its sounding board high above,
congregations raising heads and hands to the sky.
We, the people—the tourists

and townies—one nation under
this vaulted roof, exalted voices
speaking poetry out loud,

in praise and dissent.
We draw breath from brick. Ignite the fire in us.
Speak to us:

the language is hope.

 

1 Comment

  • Randglync June 11, 2019 - 1:35 pm Reply

    buy accutane 20mg Cialis De Farmacia Cialis Tadalafil Venta cialis without a doctor’s prescription Zithromax And Advil Cheap Valtrex

  • Leave a reply