Birmingham Sunday

BIRMINGHAM SUNDAY
(September 15, 1963)

Four little girls
Who went to Sunday School that day
And never came back home at all–
     But left instead
     Their blood upon the wall
     With spattered flesh
     And bloodied Sunday dresses
     Scorched by dynamite that
     China made aeons ago
     Did not know what China made
     Before China was ever Red at all
     Would ever redden with their blood
     This Birmingham-on-Sunday wall.
Four tiny little girls
Who left their blood upon that wall,
In little graves today await:
     The dynamite that might ignite
     The ancient fuse of Dragon Kings
     Whose tomorrow sings a hymn
     The missionaries never taught
     In Christian Sunday School
     To implement the Golden Rule.
Four little girls
Might be awakened someday soon
By songs upon the breeze
     As yet unfelt among
     Magnolia trees.

 

Poem by Langston Hughes

 

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