Marjory Stoneman Douglas

What have you done with my name?

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Courtesy of Sarah Lazarovic

Marjory Stoneman Douglas, she weeps in the Everglades now

Her own name beckons her from weeping waters in that hallowed river of grass

O Children, do you hear her cries in the echo of your own?

When your awful grief rises, when the primal wail sounds

The quiet pines bear witness as blood cries from the ground

Marjory Stoneman Douglas, she weeps in the Everglades now

She summons the past from forgotten pools in her beloved river of grass

She was there when the power to slaughter grew to a speed reserved only for gods

She landed in France, an enlisted soldier while on the front lines machine guns exploded

She stood with her city, fought side by side for in the shadows, the tommy guns were loaded

Marjory Stoneman Douglas, she weeps in the Everglades now

She buried a mother with a broken mind

And sometimes it was her own

O children, the gun, she knew, she knew: from far away in the trenches of war

And in the hands of Capone, the gun, she knew: she knew just what it was for

O Children, listen closely when the river speaks: some hearts are created to protect

They pick up the gun, yes, we know, the gun: bringing light to a darkness unchecked

Listen to a river that thunders when dammed: some hearts beat cruel and low

We must forbid the gun, oh, please, take the gun: take the pills and the knife and the ammo

For their weeping wounds snarl and hiss and kill, and will while the red sirens keep spinning the wheel

We must create a space together someplace, where our broken and wounded can heal

Marjory Stoneman Douglas, she speaks from the Everglades now

I fought for the poor

I fought for the panther

I fought for the refugees’ plight

I fought to cast a vote

I fought to print what I wrote

And I’ll fight for you once more

O Children, Dear Children, for what will you fight?

I am Marjory Stoneman Douglas and I’ll fight once more.

Courtesy of Sarah Lazarovic

Would you like to know more?

A local newspaper in Miami asked Marjory to go down to the docks and complete an interview with the first woman in Florida to enlist in the Navy. The woman didn’t show up and the next thing you know, Marjory had her arm in the air swearing to serve and protect the United States of America. She was a yeoman first class but soon transferred to the Salvation Army and headed to France.

She celebrated the end of the war in Paris. She continued her work with the Salvation Army and traveled throughout Italy, Yugoslavia, Serbia, and Albania. She later wrote about traveling over mountains on horseback and sailing with Italian soldiers while they took turns throwing up.

Her mother suffered from mental illness and by the end of her short life, Marjory had assumed the role of the mother. Marjory also experienced three nervous breakdowns in her life. During these breakdowns, she said that it felt as if a shutter had been drawn down over her mind.

The first Valentine’s Day Massacre happened in Marjory’s lifetime. It was ordered by Al Capone, from his residence in Miami. The slaughter occurred in Chicago while Capone was headed to a meeting at the Dade County Courthouse. The city of Miami, and Marjory herself, fought against their violence and presence in the city.

Marjory loved nature and stood against developers to protect the wildlife and ecosystem of the Everglades. She lived to be 108. She asked that her ashes be scattered in what she called “the river of grass.”  

Courtesy of Sarah Lazarovic

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