Underground Railroad

Under cover of night
When no moon is in sight
Preparations are made
To run for their lives

The railroad’s network
Connects them to freedom
Safe haven’s distance
Becomes a slave’s challenge

Their earnest desire
Propelling them on
No longer accepting
White man’s dominion

No law’s protection
Covers their lives
Ownership by another
No longer abides

Compassion for others
Themselves already free
Reach out to their brethren
With sanctuary

Zigzagging they go
To this place and that
Refuge offered
With food, shelter and rest

These railroad cars
A beacon of light
In a world full of darkness
No one caring their plight

With self-determination
They make their release
Bound to find liberty
And their emancipation

The institution of slavery
The beginning of the end
War fought for justice
For every man

Entry for Poets United:  http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/

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  1. jgavinallan

     /  July 4, 2011

    This is historic…I know all about this. You captured the excitement of wanting to be free and doing what is necessary.
    Vey good Hugs


  2. Saw a show that referenced this the other night and decided to write about it. Bless these people and all who helped them on their journey.



  3. slavery was such a disgusting practice, some countries took it to the extreme.

    my heart goes out to africans because they suffered the most for this disgusting practice.


    • My heart goes out to them too. I just can’t imagine the atrocities they endured.


      • their suffering is disgrace to entire human race. i have read some books and watched some movies about the tortures they had to face.

        just imagine snatched away from own country, stuffed into ships like sacks, brought to a strange land to work without pay, respect any thing.

        i read uncle tom’s cabin when i was a small child. that novel says it quite clearly.


        • It’s hard for me to believe that these people were rounded up and taken away from their homes and enslaved–what a disgrace! I’ve seen movies too… I can’t wrap my brain around it.


  4. Bravo! A compassionate poem on a part of our history we much never forget. Well done, Gayle.

    Happy Fourth of July! 🙂


  5. Lived in Three Rivers, Michigan for many years, growing up. There were Historical Landmarks of homes that had been used by the Underground Railroad all around that area. Your poem brings back memories of my Mother and Father sharing what they knew of that time in history, from their reading, with my sisters and myself.


    • When I first read about this, I was so impressed and it left an unforgettable feeling in me–imagining these people being helped by others…”underground”.

      Thanks for sharing that, Leslie.


  6. This touches the heart strings. It must have been so frightening to have had to go through this. It is hard to believe that this happened in this country. Freedom is such a fragile thing. It is why we must be vigilant to preserve it on all levels.

    This is thought provoking, Gayle.



    • You are so right, Izzy–we must remain vigilant. We can’t let down our guard…

      I so appreciate your words of support.



  7. Awesomely written I agree a compassionate poem


  8. cool,
    I studies this event while in graduate school.
    perfect highlight, thanks for sharing.


  9. carefreewanderer

     /  July 6, 2011

    This is truly touching. You have captured their emotions and their pathetic plight so perfectly with your words. A job very well done! 🙂


    • I’m so glad you found this touching. This story hits me deeply–it means a lot to have people respond to it.

      Thank you so much.


  10. This is such an amazing chapter in our history, isn’t it? You’ve written of it so well. Do you know of any books/novels that deal with the underground railroad. I love learning history through well-researched fiction.

    So, what did you think of “the verdict” yesterday?


    • Yes, it reminds me of those who were helped during the holocaust–hidden away, helped to freedom. I’ve yet to read a book on this subject. I know there are many, especially on Harriet Tubman who started this underground road to freedom. This poem came to me this week after a show I watched spoke about a home being used for this purpose. Now, I’m inspired to read one too.

      There are no words to describe my !!SHOCK!! My mouth hung open in total disbelief as she was found not guilty on all counts–except the lying. Now, today, I saw that juror #3 said they were all “sick to their stomachs” as they had no choice but to find her not guilty as they did not have enough evidence linking her to the crime. This juror said she did not think Casey Anthony is innocent. What!? I give up…


    • I don’t understand the verdict. How many murder cases are successfully prosecuted without even a body? And, I’m sorry, duct tape and chloroform? It’s insane. This is where Karma must come into play.

      If I run into any books about the underground railway, I’ll let you know.


      • No one understands the verdict. It is totally insane. In prosecutor’s Linda Drane Burdick’s closing argument, she stated her biggest fear was that common sense would be forgotten during their deliberations–well, there you go, that’s exactly what happened. Many murderers have been convicted on purely circumstantial evidence–I don’t know what was going on in those peoples’ minds. What more could you possibly need? I agree, karma will have to render the proper outcome–someday.

        Do let me know if you come across a good story on the underground railroad–thanks so much, Victoria.


  11. you blew me away yet again! truly great and brilliant!


  12. A poem which deserves appreciation. My hearty wishes to you to keep writing such heartfelt poetry…Amazing..


    • These type of topics really fuel my soul–I’m happy it touched yours too. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.


  13. so hard a life… made me swallow hard.. some fine touches here… the beacons of light…an excellent image.. thanks for capturing this difficult topic with such sensitivity


  14. A very necessary poem, lest we forget. Brava



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