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The Swan

These days, on TV, there's a show, "The Swan"
Girls who thought they were undesirable
Doctored to be 'beautiful' in the world's eyes
Let me tell you of a real swan
From my childhood I have known her voice
I remember her angelic little girl picture
Let me tell you of my mother
A swan without artificial beauty, but real
Inside and out
A true swan, a precious daughter of Zion
A swan finding birds of a feather
If ever an ugly duckling
Only in her own eyes, clouded by lies
Open her yes, Lord
Show her the Swan she is
She is Jesus' sister and friend
I am this lovely swan's proud chick
On this, I kneel before the Father
I give thanks for a true swan

Stephen Pursell,
around Mother's Day,  4/9/04

During my years in prison I walked as a christian and thus was the object of much hatred for my ability to love those who are generally rejected by criminally-minded prison culture. My refusal to participate in prison inmate politics and my open demonstrations of love for my christian brothers(and others I reached out to in God's love) from varying racial and cultural backgrounds was feared and hated by men of evil intent. As a result I was physically attacked many times. Since the prison system does not care whether or not one is defending himself against an unprovoked attack and it only seeks to accuse, condemn, punish and abuse I was always thrown in solitary confinement for these altercations. I remember specifically(and recognize we the paper on which the original was penciled) that this poem came during one of those passages through solitary confinement due to persecution, one after which I had had to fight a man much bigger than me to avoid being abused even worse.  But what a blessing to be persecuted for the the Lord and share in his sufferings!