Staunton 87

In light of the recent events in Charlottesville, I offer the following poem/reflection from a protest I attended when the KKK held a recruitment drive in Staunton, VA in 1987. 

like a porous sore in the face
oozing white in this place

hoarse cries of hate are swallowed up
by the silent strands of
we shall overcome

tension
a taunt wire
anger stretches somewhere deep within
all of us
waiting for the snap
when our brother’s neck will be squished
pulp in our grasp

struggle to understand
this hate robed in white
with eyes of glittering coal
to burn

the hand of brotherhood is slapped away
while spit runs down the face
turning away to rage in peace

old woman
white frozen mind
you’d better look out for your own,
she rasps

within i reply,
old woman, i am
i am

Written after a protest against a KKK march in Staunton VA November 17, 1987

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