Sunday Poetry with Jenean C. Gilstrap. The Day the Sun Died in Alabama

Sunday Poetry with Jenean C. Gilstrap. The Day the Sun Died in Alabama
Jenean C Gilstrap
Sunday Poetry with Jenean C. Gilstrap. The Day the Sun Died in Alabama

Sunday Poetry with Jenean C. Gilstrap. The Day the Sun Died in Alabama

Inspired by the movie “Selma”, this piece is dedicated to the four little girls in Birmingham, Alabama, who were brutally murdered [September 15, 1963] by the racially-motivated bombing of the church they were attending – sadly, within a day of writing this piece, I learned of the bombing of still another African-American church [in Charleston, South Carolina], that took place on June 17, 2015 – more than 50 years later, these horrendous hate crimes continue –


the day the sun died in alabama

little girls four in their sunday best

never knowin’ the day’s their last

never knowin’ they passed the test

‘n tomorrow they’d rest

in the sweet lovin’ arms of angels past

the day the sun died in alabama

little girls four goin’ down the stairs

laughin’ ‘n gigglin’ over their pretty hair

readin’ the bible and fixin’ their sash

all ended in a blindin’ flash

as they’re flung through the church house door

and the bomb blasts their chance for more

flung into kingdom come

‘fore their lives are even begun

the day the sun died in alabama

little girls four singin’ to the choir

but their songs become embers in the brutal fire

eight arms freed in the explodin’ day

and legs floating to judgment way

four hearts stopped come what may

when the supremists sowed their seeds

in this evil dastardly deed

the day the sun died in alabama

and blood ran in rivers from the cryin’ sun

so much left to be done

‘fore peace would come to “bombingtown”

where whites held all hatred bound

the struggles there chained to the past

those four little girls wouldn’t be the last

and the day the sun died in alabama


god was the first to cry







September 15, 1963


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Jenean C Gilstrap

Since childhood, Ms. Gilstrap has had a love of words-of writing and other arts. An individualist, she chooses not to follow any pre-conceived pattern for the outlay of these words – rather, she allows them the freedom to forge their own path as they make their way from her heart to pen to paper. Her art work involves both photography and mixed media on large canvasses. She is a weekly featured poet in Yareah Magazine where her works have appeared for more than a year. Her piece The Granite God was the winning poem in Painted Bride Quarterly Sidebar #12 [2012]. Her work has been featured in performance poetry theatrical productions in Louisiana and her short story, Retribution, published in the Helicon Literary Magazine there. She and her gypsywomanworld blog are included as character/story elements in Ghost Key, the fictional work of award-winning author Trish MacGregor. Her first volume of poetry [2013], words unspoken, is available in both paperback and on kindle at amazon. She currently divides her time between her home in Louisiana and the east coast as she completes her second volume of poetry to be published in 2013.

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