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Southern trees, halls, TN, summer 1969-1981

by Alora Young

Sins might happen for a reason

One of my mothers never make it past an eighth grade education

Understand that she made a choice at 14 to start a generation

The sins of the father are the sins

His son will learn

Everybody believes they are the exception

Remember children will

Never do as you say.

The day my grandmother learned she was pregnant she was 17

Running away from a generational curse

Education isn't worth much if its propaganda

Everyone knew she was bad, cause she was high yella

Sins of a mother are sins her daughter will learn.

Before my grandfather died he had a child

Everyone told him it was over

And he loved her

Regardless, of how they tried to change his mind.

Seventeen was a lifetime to my great grandmother

Time came down like southern rain from

Raging april skies

And when grandpa was shot down that following july

Never again did they think you could be too young to die

Gifts dont always come in the forms you think they do

Every so often so called sins become blessings.

Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, was a lifetime

Right before disaster god brings sunshine

Underneath the skin of sinners lies devine

Insight, we are not privy to his plans until it's our


About the Author

Alora Young is the Youth Poet Laureate of Nashville, Tennessee. she is the chief editor of “The Burro Underground,” and a recipient of the Princeton Prize in race relations and spring Robinson/mahogany red-lit prize. she has previous publications in the 'Signal Mountain Review' literary journal and Rigorous magazine.

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