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From early history of this Grand Constitutional Republic to the streets of modern America there is much to learn about people and poverty. Can we learn what our founding fathers knew; that freedom is not free and that all people (White, Black, Yellow, Red) have the same rights; the right to Life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness (our belongings: home, personal effects we purchase). How can a government owned by the people (a sovereign people) force citizens to pay a tax or buy a license? We have given up our Sovereignty (unintentionally and through ignorance) and now our world is crumbling.
A look back at a great man and his woman – a Common Laws Marriage as you do not have to prove a marriage under common law and there is no license between 3 parties: Government, and two people. There is only a contract of love between two people.

From my book: From The Shadows of My Smile – Amazon

An American Story:

Life’s Trials and Tribulations

Copyright © June 2011 – by Michael Duane Small

This Tucson day was very hot;
Yes, miserable to most!
An old man sat in a shady spot
Of wealth he could not boast!

A back pack at his feet,
A frown upon his face!
The sweat upon his brow from heat
I could tell he had no place!

I greeted him about this day!
A tear welled up within his eye!
Hunger shown, but he could not say
And his throat was very dry.

This old man was clean and neat!
You could tell he had a life,
But hard times now had him beat
His face was filled with strife!

Food and drink just steps away,
I knew he could not pay.
He broke and told his story
To me this hot Tucson day!

The hospital just let me go
Heart attack was my stay!
They released me into the streets
To wander on my way!

My retirement is on hold
My Social Security now I wait.
And welfare care is very cold
But they are on my plate.

So I live out here on the street
Struggling day by day!
I can barely handle summer heat
I trust in Jesus to show me the way!

I looked into his aged face,
His eyes were a cloudy haze!
This old man was a special case;
All alone in his aging days!

I thought about retirement years
And my aged mother back at home.
I knew she shed a lot of tears,
Now she is all alone!

Sadly my baby sister died;
Following my older brother!
Thinking of my father’s pride;
Alzheimer’s took him under!

Now, this old black man at 72
Was sharp in every way;
Though his eyes were dim, I knew
He had been healthy until this day.

He thanked me for being kind
As most ignored him for his color!
To loneliness he had resigned
He smiled; I treated him as a brother!

I vowed this day that he would eat.
His thirst would be quenched.
I hoped he could stand the heat.
My clothes with sweat were drenched!

Two Abraham Lincolns I had to spare,
I handed to this old man.
His face a grin so sincere,
Offered me his open hand!

I took his hand with a smile,
And left him on a heartfelt sigh!
I wish I could have stayed a while
But, it was time to say good bye!

I wondered about this old man’s life;
Of the stories I knew he could share.
The times his people lived in strife
Freedom was their only care!

Of Civil Rights and feeling free
The Negro lived in fear each day;
Yet, hoped in time they would see
All people share a better way!

History reflects on a burning cross;
Ghostly shadows in the night!
A whip and a lash cut many a back.
The hangman’s noose is a ghastly sight!

This old man’s heart had a smile!
A light shined from his hazy eyes.
His life narrowing to a lonely mile,
Never revealed life’s tragic sighs!

Reflecting back to another time;
An abomination it was to some,
When slavery was not a crime!
A wise man dreams of time to come!

Sally was his lady fair;
Beautiful and very bright!
A life time promises for her care;
Freed from Slavery on a Paris Night!

Virginia bound this couple fled!
Revolution was freedoms chant!
France in turmoil and many dead;
To Monticello and fields to plant!

Through the years love never died.
Yet deep in her heart freedom cried,
For her people and their need;
She knew they could not be freed.

For time must pass and blood to shed,
Ignorance demanded tears of sorrow!
Understanding they could never wed,
This couple’s love they could only borrow.

Six children Sally bore for Thomas
For his love she freely gave.
By his side she kept her promise
Until she died, tended his grave!

So black and white there is a tie
The history of trouble and of tears
Side by side or face to face
Freedom eventually delivered cheers.

I wondered about this old man’s life;
Of the stories I knew he could share.
The times his people lived in strife;
Freedom was their only care!

Slavery has long since passed,
Yet ugliness still exists
Prejudice will always cast
Why can’t people desist?

Sally Hemings was her name;
A beauty, young and fair!
Thomas Jefferson was her claim
In this beautiful love affair!

Authors Comments:
It took the Hemings family until 1998 to prove through science (DNA) the tie to Thomas Jefferson. The stories were always in their faces, about the white slaves at Monticello, but Jefferson never allowed his personal life to be trampled by ignorance; he never commented or answered the ignorance presented to him by others and kept his family close to him. Six Children were born, Four Lived.
From the Revolution and through every war white and black have served side by side or for the United States; yet ignorance: hatred and bigotry still exists.
Sally Hemings, An American Love Story – Bound by Slavery – Freed by love.
Movie with Sam Neill and Carmen Ejogo – “Sally Hemings”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sarah “Sally” Hemings (Shadwell, Albemarle County, Virginia, circa 1773 – Charlottesville, Virginia, 1835) was a mixed-race slave owned by the president Thomas Jefferson through inheritance by his wife. She was the half-sister of Jefferson’s wife, Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson by their father John Wayles.[2] She was notable because most historians now widely believe that the widower Jefferson took her as a concubine, had six children with her, and an extended relationship for 38 years until his death.[3] They were seven-eighths white by ancestry and born into slavery. When Jefferson’s relationship and children were reported in 1802, there was sensational coverage for a time, but Jefferson remained silent on the issue. Four Hemings-Jefferson children survived to adulthood. He let two “escape” in 1822 at the age of 21 and freed the younger two in his will in 1826.
Informally freed by Jefferson’s daughter after his death in 1826, Sally Hemings lived her last nine years with her two freed sons in nearby Charlottesville, Virginia. An 1833 county census recorded the Hemingses as “white,” consistent with their mostly European ancestry and appearance. After Sally’s death in 1835, Eston and Madison Hemings migrated with their families to Chillicothe in the free state of Ohio.
Because Jefferson descendants had identified Carr relatives as the father(s) of Hemings’ children, few academic historians before the third quarter of the 20th century credited the paternity allegation or examined the possible relationship closely. Analysis of the historical evidence was bolstered by 1998 DNA testing that showed a match between the Jefferson male line and descendants of at least one of Sally Hemings’ children. It disproved any Carr connection, and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which runs Monticello; and the National Genealogical Society each conducted its own reviews. Together with most historians, since 2000-2001, they agree that Jefferson fathered Hemings’ children.[4]
Michael D. Small

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  1. Hi Michael:
    Oh my God!! This is a Master Piece! I enjoyed reading every line and the story is so clear in your poetry. What a skill you have my friend. So many stanzes so well written and connected together to bring beautiful meaning and understanding of those people you talked about. I learned a lot just by reading this work you did so well. Thank you Mifchael.You are a good friend.God bless you. Denny

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