Discipling Questions After the Murder of a Child

(For Angelyn Ogdoc  2008 – 2010)

By Truth Thomas


In everything give thanks. How is this found?

When death drips daily from tsetse flies’ lips

and rusty teeth of rats make gnawing ground

of cribs, where should our gratitude be lit?

What is the good in a cockroach? Tell us.

Or chinches crashing capillary doors?

Or lice moving typhus like cans of nuts

on checkout counters at grocery stores?

A stinkbug is not a rose. A meal pried

from garbage jaws is not a Buckingham

Palace tea. A parachute dropping smiles

is not a child thrown from a grandma’s hands—

murder’s hands—to hands of concrete walkway.

Fifty feet she fell. Which foot should we praise?





Truth Thomas is a singer, songwriter, and poet, born in Knoxville, Tennessee, raised in Washington, DC. He is the author of three collections of poetry: Party of Black (Flipped Eye/Mouthmark Press, 2006), A Day of Presence (Flipped Eye Publishing, 2008), and Bottle of Life (Flipped Eye Publishing, 2010). His fourth book, Speak Water, is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2011. He serves on editorial boards of both the Tidal Basin Review, and the Little Patuxent Review. Some of his work has appeared in: The Progressive, Quiddity Literary Journal, and The 100 Best African American Poems (edited by Nikki Giovanni).


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