Wednesday, August 27, 2014
On Mike Brown
Images scorch, spurning the truth
What year is this?
Are you sure?
Is that teargas and justification?
Why, yes--he was black
I see why that would scare you
In places I seldom visit for reasons I rarely acknowledge
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
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