- By J. Patrick Lewis
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J. Patrick Lewis (born May 5, 1942) is an American poet and prose writer noted for his children's poems and other light verse.[1] He worked as professor of economics from 1974-1998, after which he devoted himself full-time to writing. Lewis has received the 2013 Claudia Lewis Award,[2] the 2014 Cybils Award for Poetry,[3] the Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Text (2002),[4] the Ohioana Book Award for Poetry for Young Children (2015),[5] and others. He was the recipient of the 2010-11 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Excellence in Children's Poetry Award, presented every two years. He also served from 2011-13 as the third U.S. Children's Poet Laureate (now called the Young People's Poet Laureate).[6]


"FBI Poster of Missing Civil Rights Workers" by Federal Bureau of Investigation is in the public domain.

That day in June we stopped in Meridian, I
reached in my pocket for the penny I called
Hope. The Negro barber nodded, Y'all come
back soon. In Longdale the KKK had burned
down Mount Zion Church. We had left the
inferno when Sheriff Price ordered us into
a cruiser for a shortcut to county jail. With
the odor of pee running down my pant leg,
Mickey whispered, Don't expect that one
phone call, and he was right. They fed us
potatoes, peas, poke salad, and spoon bread.
Our last supper. But once the Klan ambush
was set up, the sheriff fined me $20, and
told us, Git gone for good. Then the whole
thin shimmer of our lives evaporated like
smoke in a fog. Armed with cone-hat con-
viction and long-necked persuaders, the
Klan rode in for last rites to the first rights
of a gaunt trio. Flames licked the car as it
sank under Bogue Chitto Swamp. After
single shots to the heart had taken Mickey
and Andrew, they'd saved three bullets for
me. Freedom Summer is Forlorn Winter at
the tag end of living. And just before they
pitched our bodies into earthen graves on
Old Jolly Farm, I remember that my hand
was in my pocket. I could still feel Hope.

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Additional Information:

Rating: A

Words: 219

Unique Words : 155

Sentences : 15

Reading Time : 0:58

Noun : 83

Conjunction : 19

Adverb : 11

Interjection : 0

Adjective : 9

Pronoun : 23

Verb : 35

Preposition : 22

Letter Count : 891

Sentiment : Positive

Tone : Neutral (Slightly Conversational)

Difficult Words : 74

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