The classic, heart-wrenching song “Strange Fruit” sung by Billie Holiday inspired me to write this poem.

I was so deeply affected by this song that I was compelled to pen my thoughts. I made every effort to treat the tragic subject matter with utmost care.


Adorned with gold and pearls
A pendant on a string
hung gently near the ivory skin –
The daughter of the king.

Our clocks were hung to chime
right there on the wall
so we could covet us our time
made sure they did not fall

We dressed, we languished and we dined
in linens, silks, and drapes
drinking in the berry wine
not thinking of the hanging grape

Hands of time and papers inked
tell of lives long lost, unsung
our pictures, pearls, and scarves of pink
were not the only things that hung.

Behind the frame and glass
our fingers merely graze the roots
of pained faces in the past
whose labor bore our fruits.