Poetry Contest

Second Place


Ties that Bind


By: Emma Rainear

Senior, Providence High School


Cries spill out into the night:

the unfortunate Protestant

burned upon a Catholic stake,

a Jewish family torn from their

home by a merciless secret police,

a white man bludgeoned and bruised,

his milky skin a conflict in an African



Footsteps echo down lonely alleyways,

generations of people wiped from the earth

like  a single flame snuffed out

by a cruel breeze.


Somewhere in the bowels

of his rotting grave,

Joseph Stalin laughs heartlessly,

his Soviet Union wish fulfilled.

George III traces a forgotten map with

crumbling fingers, remembering feverishly

when the rich land west of the Atlantic

belonged solely to him.

French revolutionaries loyal to their death

rest proudly in their catacombs for the

dispatchment of the royal problem.

Their evils still thrive in our

united world today,

genocides and bloodbaths

that never truly end.


Millions of years humanity lived and

died on this Earth,

as barbaric and unforgiving as

the monsters who thrived before

their time.

I must have wealth, I must have


I must be in control, I must always be



Whether it be a caveman who stole

Another’s piece of meat

Or a government taxing its people

For personal gain,

Some will say humanity has learned

from past mistakes.

But a woman still chained by the

shackles of her gender,

a nation oppressed because it is

weaker than most,

the Muslim world bound to pay

for centuries of hate and distrust –

from my point of view,

no learning has taken place.