Tuesday, November 11, 2014

strange martyr

We leave you our deaths. Give them their meaning.

-- Archibald MacLeish

Colleagues of mine who come from the St. Louis area think that tomorrow will see an announcement concerning the possible indictment of Officer Darren Wilson, who shot Michael Brown to death on August 9.  Some sources are saying that he will be cleared of any charges.


For Michael Brown, Strange Martyr

We don’t know what you died for.
We don’t know what you lived for.
We don’t know what you were doing.
You weren’t carrying a placard.
You weren’t carrying a weapon.
You weren’t trying to become a public figure.

Now in death you are a public figure,
Your death is a placard, but blank.
We only know what you were not doing:
You weren’t committing a capital crime.

What you were doing is yet to appear.
In fullness of time something will happen,
And what happens will fill the placard.
The sentence hung on you from birth,
Strange fruit of the guilty tree, spelled out,
Falls ripe on the hot center stripe.

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