Friday, May 30, 2014

Harriet Tubman Poem

Hello, and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit one of our Haiku Queens, Diane at Random Noodling!

Lots going on in my life right now as my husband and I shake off one long-standing (30+ years) business and board a different train bound for lands not yet known, but certainly dreamed of! We are exhausted and excited and eager for this new chapter.

Which is why I am sharing with you today a poem I wrote earlier this year for Scholastic's ACTION magazine. ACTION is a hi-lo mag -- high interest, low reading level. In celebration of Black History Month, they asked me to write something to accompany an article about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. (Speaking of lands not yet known, but certainly dreamed of!) Here's the result:

All Aboard the Freedom Train!
by Irene Latham

Come now passengers,
throw off your chains!

Take your place on the train
that runs underground.

Its wheels are people 
who arrange secret stations,

its whistle blows,

Follow Harriet --
your conductor, your guide.

Brave hunger and darkness
to outsmart your captors.

With a runaway's speed
and a locomotive's power,

time now
to steam into your future.


  1. Brilliant use of the train as metaphor, an important lesson to children. All my best for the next chapter of your lives. Change can be difficult. I hope yours is positive and full of hope.
    I am reading The Sky Between Us again. I never did a review for you. Must get to that this summer!

    1. Thank you, Margaret! I am saving a review of your book until Christmas season is upon us again... which won't be long, actually! Thanks for stopping by. xo

  2. Have fun, Irene! It's nice to shake things up once in a while. Your Harriet Tubman poem put me in mind of Maya Angelou and her lines from "Phenomenal Woman":

    I'm a woman
    Phenomenal woman,
    That's me.

    1. Dear Diane, thank you for the Maya Angelou! xo

  3. Wonderful, Irene. Love it. "Steam into your future" :)

    Good luck on the new venture!

  4. I too love the metaphor, Irene, and 'steam into your future'. Best wishes to you & your husband for new adventures!

    1. Thank you, Linda -- we are excited about our new adventures. xo

  5. Terrific poem Irene, and yep - killer last line.
    BEST WISHES as you all begin a new adventure, from a couple well-versed in that lately... :0)

    1. Thank you, Robyn - you are an inspiration. xo

  6. I agree with Margaret and quite like the train metaphor. Thank you for sharing this. And best of luck to you and your husband as you embrace new things together.

  7. Every day is a new chance to "steam into the future," isn't it? :-)

  8. So lovely to hear your voice reading this poem, Irene - steam away into the future, and keep us posted!


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