Fundamental Brethren

William Penn towered over us—

his shadow swallowing

our vanquished voyager—

his brooding eyes

cautiously admiring us,

seeing our gaunt reservations

but out hungry fortitude

his piquant smile

enthusiastically enveloping us,

turning haunting nightmares

into memorialized dreams

his downturned hands

effortlessly uplifting us,

reassuring us about brotherly love

not yet conceived

but eventually attested.

We knelt to freedom—

our new god on this new continent—

forming a prayer circle:

to share stories once again

about injustice and reverence

to decry our persecution

and trials we survived

to weep about triumphs

over avarice and doctrine—

all tribulations familiar with infinity—

until hoarseness punctured our throats.

Disheveled and distraught—

but determined!—

we interlaced our arms,

firmly disembarking,

to let liberty cradle us.

 

Christopher Stolle’s poetry has appeared most recently or is forthcoming in the “Tipton Poetry Journal,” “Flying Island,” “Branches,” “Indiana Voice Journal,” “Black Elephant,” “Ibis Head Review,” “Edify Fiction,” “The Poetry Circus,” “Smeuse,” “The Gambler,” “1932 Quarterly,” “Brickplight,” “Medusa’s Laugh Press,” and “Sheepshead Review.” He works as an acquisitions and development editor for Penguin Random House, and he lives in Richmond, Indiana.

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