Blood Stained Glass

by K. Miaya Webster

               A tribute to the 4 little girls murdered
               in the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church
               Birmingham, Alabama 1963

It was a Sunday morning.

A canvas of dresses, 
pressed collars and full sleeves 
decorate the concrete. 

Socks with lace on the ankles,
hair bows and ribbons breeze 
against brown skin.

They looked so much like angels
you’d think they had found salvation that day.
It was a Sunday morning.

Choir voices and clapping hands
hymnals so soul-stirringly spiritual
this Sabbath was sacred
before these 4 bodies turned to mosaics.

This air was different
as 4 little girls’ feet walked,
eager and innocent to Glory,
you could feel the ancestors already mourning.

It was a bloody Sunday morning. 
The rocks cried out
crumbling around them as foundations shook
and earth split beneath
glass and flesh. 

Their souls, pure as Resurrection 
like Christenings and Baptisms
lining the sidewalks of this Holy place like flower petals
in the Audubon Ballroom.

The city died that day as 
Heaven was weeping.

New angels had arrived
and we knew their names.

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