Letter to Reverend Thomas Paul
1773-1831 Born Exeter, NH.
Portrait 1825 National Gallery, Smithsonian Institute
When you became a minister, did they still call you boy
as they did your father, standing alongside his owner Gilman,
taking risks as he did as a slave fighting in battle?
As the son of a slave, did you share his anger and memories
or did the bible and preaching cleanse or free you
from the scrutiny of others, in Boston, in New Hampshire?
You were a preacher, a Prince Hall Black Mason
ordained a Baptist, praying for the souls of your ancestors,
a better life than those who walked before you in chains.
Were you respected, revered by your white brethren?
The portrait of you hangs in a national gallery, yet
in New Hampshire you are unrecognized in their history.
Julie A. Dickson
Julie A. Dickson writes when the muses of water, Autumn, nature and animals rouse a sleeping pen to her hand. She especially is drawn to visual prompts. Her poems appear in Open Word, Misfit, Sledgehammer, and The Ekphrastic Review, among others. She advocates for captive circus and zoo elephants, feral cats and shares her home with two rescued feral cats, Cam and Claire. Her full length works are available on Amazon. Dickson is active in the New Hampshire poetry community and works with seniors in their home settings.
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