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Resurrection Poem

By Elena Stephenson–Some stanzas from “Mississippi Goddamn” by Nina Simone

It’s the evening before Easter 

I read my daughter a children’s book

About Nina Simone 

Anna is curious 

She finds connection in 

Rebellion Riot and Protest

This could be because she is a Scorpio

Or maybe it’s because 

Something is stirring in her

The same issues Nina sang about

50 years ago

Are still alive and prevalent today

Can’t you see it

Can’t you feel it

It’s all in the air

The pressure cooking

Like a coffee percolator

Signaling it’s time




Anna has asked to read that same story

Every night since Easter Eve

She asks me about Ralph Yarl

Why would a man wait by the door 

With a gun?

Why isn’t he in jail yet?

Will he come for us?

She is seven.

Hound dogs on my trail

School children sitting in jail 

Black cat cross my path

I think every day’s gonna be my last

But what if…

We imagined a new reality

I am emboldened to imagine 

A new reality 

Guns turned to plowshares 

Food that is grown in gardens and shared

They keep on saying go slow

But that’s the trouble

Rebellion is not meant to be digested slowly

Imagine a world where…

Money was never invented

Capitalism is killed

The people can sleep for 

Days and days and days 

And not be called lazy 

In fact the word lazy

Is completely redacted from our vernacular 

Sabbath is ritualized 

And Resurrection lives in community care.

–Elena Stephenson, of Poetic Underground Kansas City, plans to read this poem at PeaceWorks KC’s annual Memorial Day observance–remembering those dead from toxins at the KC Plant where parts were made for nuclear weapons.

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Man hanging origame peace cranes.