Character: Jim

Book: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Author: Mark Twain

26 writer: Galen O’Hanlon


Rereading Huck Finn, I see his adventures are just the surface. Beneath, almost out of sight, is Jim’s story – and the great orphaning force of slavery. 


Two orphans on a raft, unalike, adrift, asleep.

The river breathes, dreams bubble from the deep.

Jim sobs for his people, his kids, his wife.

Huck frets on the runaway life.

Jim loves Huck as a father might,

And Huck, who has nothing, is rich in white.


Meanwhile, a debt silts the riverbed:

Black blood, Black souls, three centuries of the dead.

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