Quoting Atticus

Written in response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt:

Quote Me

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it and why does it move you?

Through the character of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, author Harper Lee shaped my ideas and attitudes about courage and race from a very early age. Perhaps the most radical thing my mother, who was hardly a radical herself, ever did was to take me to see the film version of the novel.

As soon as I was able, in those days before E-readers made every book easily accessible, I checked To Kill a Mockingbird out of the Floyd County Public Library in Floydada, Texas. There were adult ideas embedded in the book that I did not yet understand, so I read the simple story of Scout and her brother.

I read the book again and again through the years after buying the paperback edition at a garage sale. With every reading I gained new understanding. When the physical book finally fell apart I downloaded it onto my Kindle, and I read Atticus’s story at least once a year.

The quote above about real courage speaks volumes to me, especially in these times of fear mongering and gun worshipping. My fervent hope is that more people would make Atticus’s words their own.

Sometimes Pain

pain is now televised
pundits ponder the

terrorist ties?
white male loner?
more gun regulations?
fewer gun restrictions?

does any of that matter anymore?
have we accepted this as the
usual business?

sometimes pain
overrides the well-worn
overcomes the malaise.

i find curses slipping from my lips like wine from a carafe:
emboldened red,

but please,
don’t show me
i’m all pained out,
the story remains
the same.

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