Wednesday, August 27, 2014

On Mike Brown

Words fail

Images scorch, spurning the truth

What year is this?

Are you sure?

Is that teargas and justification?

Why, yes--he was black

and male

and breathing

I see why that would scare you


This hurts

In places I seldom visit for reasons I rarely acknowledge

This hurts

It burns and stings and bites and sucks and hurts

And the ache is more than skin deep


I have five boys

(One natural, four bonus through marriage)

One grandson, four nephews

A godson and dozens more on my emotional radar

How many will escape alive?

Where will I be when I get that call?

How many more calls must we take?


God bless America

Land that I love

Where men with guns hate my sons

And clucking tongues cosign their slaughter

What was that?


Why, yes--they kill each other sometimes

A lot of times

Monkey see, monkey do, huh?

Who am I calling a monkey?

Whoever behaves like an animal


Michael Brown,

did you give Trayvon a pound?

a fist bump? high-five?

or did a knowing nod suffice?

Did he ask what happened to his Skittles?

I hope you lied

(God will forgive you)

Hope you said they seeped into the ground, became seeds for the rainbow across which we walked brown-hand-in-pale-hand to the Promised Land

On second thought,

maybe we should keep our hands up for a while

just in case

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