BTT 49.2: BTT #49: Soap Dispenser – Montgomery – Alabama – 2018

“We’re here because we just want to wash our hands.”  Photo of a public parks soap dispenser showing a vandalized Great Seal of the City of Montgomery, Alabama in 2018.  Notice that “Civil Rights” has been scratched out and “Cradle of the Confederacy” remains intact. Photo by Lona Gynt.

Felt Like time for a re-run, this felt relevant, since this moment is a re-run of a re-run of a re-run of a re-run of a re-run of a re-run…

Maybe we can finally get a clue and get off the island someday. Black Lives Matter!!!

Soap Dispenser – Montgomery – Alabama – 2018

·

We’re here because we just want to wash our hands

After making waters.

As blood whispers out upon the lands

·

I hear the chains of sons and stolen daughters.

Why did God make light

After making waters

·

To place the birth of civil right

Just beneath the scratch of hateful knives?

Why did God make light

·

If not to count the cost of broken lives?

Where do we find the strength to catch a breath

Just beneath the scratch of hateful knives?

·

A blank star cradles still the toiling stench of death,

We turn away and stop our ears from hearing,

Where do we find the strength to catch a breath,

·

If closed eyes have nothing to be fearing?

As blood whispers out upon the lands,

We turn away and stop our ears from hearing.

We’re here because we just want to wash our hands.

–  Lona Gynt,  December 2018

All rigths reserved for text and photos to Lona Gynt, December 2018.

These picture are from the Civil Right Memorial at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama.  “We’re here because we just want to wash our hands.”  Photo by Lona Gynt.

This poem was read at HSV Outloud Open Mike in Honor of Black History Month in February 2020 (Seems like an eternity ago now doesn’t it?)

15 thoughts on “BTT 49.2: BTT #49: Soap Dispenser – Montgomery – Alabama – 2018

  1. I remember reading this piece a couple years ago, but thank you for revisiting and sharing it now. And truly, thank you for your Christian voice speaking up about this humanity issue. Astoundingly and so disappointingly, the professed Body of Christ is quiet on this or mildly sympathetic, but the world gets the idea that Christians today must not really believe black lives matter, or at least not enough to speak it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, this is a powerful piece. Such a simple act – washing your hands – and yet, racism was still able to make it’s way in. The imagery and weight of your words are palpable. I hope people do not just “wash their hands” of what is happening because it is getting hard or because the news cycle is moving on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you my friend, it was a moment when the audacious terror of what was in front of me slowly sunk in. Had just watched “12 years a slave” and there was modern city honoring its role in that terror right in front of my eyes, and the redemptive power of Parks and King scratched out. We are not haunted by ghosts of a lost cause, we are all culpable now. I am hopeful by the voices making themselves heard now.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it is in someways to remember the history that Montgomery is the cradle of the Confederacy, but it is terrifying to see it honored in a municipal seal. I think it could be improved by having it say “Cradle of Confederate Oppression and Terror” ringed by Birthplace of the the Civil Rights Movement.

      Like

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