Hoosier Balladry

Content Warning: The themes discussed in this piece include historical references to slavery and the Trail of Tears.
By M.A. Dubbs

The verse of this city
is seeped deep into 
the pores of its
limestone foundation. 

The first Hoosiers 
were stripped of land and home
but prose, inherited from
spoken word, was preserved.
A history of generations handwoven 
into geometric narratives.

African folktale, spirituals,
kept alive under Midwestern stars,
their notes hidden 
within the safe houses
sprinkled in a northern line
to freedom.

Slogan embroidery on sashes
and banners adorn women 
dressed in white. 
They chant, arm in arm,
towards police line,
pamphlets littering
the cityscape. 

Handmade poster boards manifest 
words demanding equality,
a call to action for Mother Earth,
the demand of justice, the want of
peace.
Bold, black sharpie fonts
hoping for the promise 
of change within bill lines.

The power of words,
the vigor of verse,
safeguarding our history of change.
They’re the chronicle 
of the fight for freedom,
composing a future ballad 
for the day
we will all be free. 

Learn more about M.A. in her bio on the Featured Author page.

Published by HLWW Featured Author

Featured Author of the Heartland Society of Women Writers

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