16 July 2013

'Trayvon Redux', poem by Rita Dove

Rita Dove, former poet laureate of the United States, penned a poem inspired by George Zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting death of unarmed African-American teen Trayvon Martin. Published July 16, 2013 via TheRoot.com.

    Trayvon, Redux

    It is difficult/to get the news from poems /yet men die miserably every
    day/for lack/of what is found there./Hear me out/for I too am concerned/
    and every man/who wants to die at peace in his bed/besides.
    William Carlos Williams, “Asphodel, that Greeny Flower”

    Move along, you don't belong here.
    This is what you're thinking.  Thinking
    drives you nuts these days, all that
    talk about rights and law abidance when
    you can't even walk your own neighborhood
    in peace and quiet, get your black ass gone.
    You're thinking again.  Then what?
    Matlock's on TV and here you are,
    vigilant, weary, exposed to the elements
    on a wet winter's evening in Florida
    when all's not right but no one sees it.
    Where are they – the law, the enforcers
    blind as a bunch of lazy bats can be,
    holsters dangling from coat hooks above their desks
    as they jaw the news between donuts?

    Hey!  It tastes good, shoving your voice
    down a throat thinking only of sweetness.
    Go on, choke on that.  Did you say something?
    Are you thinking again?  Stop! – and
    get your ass gone, your blackness,
    that casual little red riding hood
    I'm just on my way home attitude
    as if this street was his to walk on.
    Do you do hear me talking to you? Boy.
    How dare he smile, jiggling his goodies
    in that tiny shiny bag, his black paw crinkling it,
    how dare he tinkle their laughter at you.

    Here's a fine basket of riddles:
    If a mouth shoots off and no one's around
    to hear it, who can say which came first –
    push or shove, bang or whimper?
    Which is news fit to write home about?

    © 2013 by Rita Dove

Source: http://www.theroot.com/buzz/trayvon-redux-rita-dove

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