Mary Turner [Poetry]

October 21, 2018

Her name was Mary Turner

mother of two with a third on the way

when her husband was lynched

she publicly cried out

wailing aloud in an era

where she should have been silent

her outcry

would lead to her demise


A mother’s womb is the safest space—

eight months growing, he was practically a newborn

when his mother was hung upside down from a tree

and roasted alive

how the womb convulsed, no longer warm and safe

but burning

when a white hand grasping a hunting knife

sliced the womb wide open

and a sturdy boot covering a white foot smashed the infant’s


after two small cries


Her crime was shrieking publicly

instead of into a pillow

and his crime, though just a fetus

was being born black

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