Sixty Years ago: A Reflection on the Day of My Birth – A Poem

A sign marking the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre in Beirut. (Photo: via AJE)

By Stephen Brackens Brinkley

Sixty years ago today I entered this world.

with native wonders and mysteries as my life unfurled

I have felt God’s hand on me from earliest recall

steadying me when I stumble, lifting me when I fall.

I have met some amazing people in my history

a precious grandmother, sisters Karen and Brenda, and the babe Jenny Lee

big brother protectors at first there were three, now remains one big brother and, still, of course, me

Blessed with a spiritual father for a quarter century

I grew to love silence, he helped me to see

Sabra  & Shatila was the awakening for me

it birthed love for a people and their fight to be free

For 37 years I have followed that path

when a soul demands justice, it sometimes meets wrath.

As long as there’s life, in this struggle I’ll be,

seeing the equal value of lives is humanity’s key.

In my heart resides sumud, with endless will to right wrongs,

For restoring Falastin to those to whom it rightfully belongs.

You’re welcome to join me, all those near and far,

When we stand united we’ll win this just war.

– Rev. Stephens Brackens Brinkley is a San Diego-based advocate and human rights activist for unarmed civilians living under armed conflict. He contributed this poem to PalestineChronicle.com.

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