Page 172

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2019

NORTH CAROLINA L I T E R A R Y RE V I E W

I sorrow, peering in the windows of a kitchen, out-building for a popular inn where Polly laundered and Jacob stabled, propertyless and illiterate where their son Andrew was born; where wife and child went uncovered when husband died, trapped by laws, condemned to poverty, their only redemption: they were not enslaved.

I sorrow, standing before a law office, workplace for George and James, justices of superior courts, conspiring with fear and enslavement, patriarchy and inequality to sustain and strengthen the common law, to keep the peace, restricting the lives of natives and blacks and women and the poor, to reward those who already had enough. I wander among shadows of sins that I cannot ignore for they are written in time and land. Revering land, validating narratives, celebrating lives, I sorrow.

CRAIG THOMPSON FRIEND is CHASS Distinguished Graduate Professor of History and Director Emeritus of Public History at NC State University. He was the 2017–2018 President of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. Raised in Dallas, NC, he has a BA from Wake Forest University, an MA from Clemson University, and a PhD from the University of Kentucky. His published historical works include Kentucke’s Frontiers (Indiana University Press, 2010), winner of the 2011 Kentucky Governor’s Award. He is currently working on a biography of Lunsford Lane of Raleigh. This poem is his first submission to NCLR.

Photographs taken by the poet in the Mordecai Historic Park in Raleigh, NC; in order of appearance, the Mordecai House, the St. Mark’s Chapel, Andrew Johnson’s Birthplace, the Badger-Iredell Law Office, and the Smokehouse

Profile for East Carolina University

North Carolina Literary Review Online 2019  

A literary review published online annually by East Carolina University and by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.

North Carolina Literary Review Online 2019  

A literary review published online annually by East Carolina University and by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.

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