©Jennifer Davidson Marshall

Stone Soup Servings is a regular series for Oddball Magazine that features upcoming performers at Stone Soup Poetry, the long-running spoken word venue in the Boston area that has recently partnered with Oddball Magazine. Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery at 106 Prospect Street with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m.

Susie Davidson, this Monday’s feature, is a lauded poet, author and journalist. In addition to her work organizing the OccuPoetry series at Occupy Boston in Dewey Square, she also has also recently published a well received article you should check out on marijuana and its roots in Judaism. A poem of hers follows below.


In Philadelphia, Mississippi

In Philadelphia, Mississippi, there are broken-down houses
the most abject of all poverty.
In Philadelphia, Mississippi, there are skinny horses
scrounging through trash piles
near a decrepit downtown that never had its day.
In Philadelphia, Mississippi, the downtrodden and
handicapped sit
in the back of a truck stop/gas station
adjacent to dried-out fields and a lone paved road.

And in Philadelphia, Mississippi, I approached the memorial

for slain civil rights workers Andrew Goodman, James
Chaney, and Michael Schwerner.
While they inspected the Mt. Zion Church burning,
Lawrence Rainey and Cecil Price,
County Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff, both Klan members,
enlisted its lynch mob.

Atop the stone, bedecked with inscriptions and a color photo
of each man, I placed memorial rocks and recited Kaddish for their brave
and righteous souls.
Struck down for helping blacks gain the right to vote
Brutally murdered for confronting Jim Crow,

for trying to make a difference in 1964 South.
Three bodies later found buried near Philadelphia,

Leaving Philadelphia along Goodman – Chaney – Schwerner
Memorial Highway,
40 years too late for justice,
venturing onward to Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma
Each with proud museums, historic sites, freedom march
markers and signposts.
but in Philadelphia, Mississippi,
little has changed.