South of Freedom

South of Freedom

There are no footprints
in the snow this night.
Some nights
a candle shines
in the window
calling in the voice
of Lady Liberty
(this was before she
was iron and copper)
“Shh – be quiet!
Creep around back –
there’s a blanket
in the basement
and a little bread.”
A little bread.

But tonight the
window is dark
and there will be
no blanket
and no bread
and I can hear
the dogs
in the distance.

This is a Magpie Tale and a One Shot Wednesday. Please follow the links to read other tales.


  1. Very well written and provoking. I enjoyed the circular feel, and appreciate how this work was crafted.

  2. Great sense of longing for times past..

  3. Very thought provoking Bug, well done.

  4. This brought to mind a tragic story I heard on the local news about a young man who was refused help when he knocked on a neighborhood door, naked and freezing. He was later found dead in the backyard shed.

  5. For all the celebrating we have done after the fact regarding Ohio's contribution to the Underground Railroad, the sad reality is that most runaways didn't make it to freedom. For every window that was lit, there were others that were not; for every welcoming friend, there were enemies with guns and dogs and hate in their hearts. This is a powerful write, reminding us of a time when freedom was a distant dream for millions of enslaved Americans, and even the most dedicated conductors on the UGRR sometimes had to leave the window dark, with dire human consequences. Okay, crying now.

  6. Love the picture, and your words are evocative and pinching. Rock on!

  7. I've read this several times. It's beautiful and haunting. I'm wondering what took you in this direction. Isn't it interesting how the mind works. A photo leads to thoughts that lead to words.

    You've chosen an interesting topic and painted your own disturbing picture with words.

    Well done, Bug.

  8. Put a chill in me. Haunting, I can hear the dogs too.

  9. Bella - I guess it's because it's Black History Month, & Dr. M is scheduled to talk about the Underground Railroad at church at the end of the month (for Absalom Jones Day). But I don't really know why the house drew this out of me.

  10. Nicely written- thanks for sharing. It left me slightly cold- very moving.

  11. wow. this is a great write, setting us up nicely and the linch pin for me is the dogs barking...i think they may be coming...

  12. You captured the abandonment by fate itself..what a great write!!

  13. Very good poetic technique. Properly understated.

  14. timeless piece- perhaps written for the past but it resonates now for me as I think of all the homeless and hungry people in these times

  15. I think about the people who are suffering with this cold right now. I complain but I have a roof and I think shame on me for complaining.

  16. I enjoyed it so much... I could relate to this very much...

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya

  17. I've just returned from three weeks in the South .... lots of museums, old mansions, slave's quarters ... your Magpie struck a chord!

  18. No truer words were ever written. Kudos for capturing the feeling of someone looking for the light, in more ways than one. ;-)

  19. Chillingly powerful. Excellent read


Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by - I'd love to hear what you have to say!