Is america still burning?
As Baldwin prophesied.
The perfect storm made visceral.
A viral pandemic
As racist as the founding principles.
Black folks scared and dying,
Dying and scared.
Twenty-five percent unemployed.
Homeless lie in the streets.
Grimy masks muzzle their faces.
Twenty Thousand Black People Dead of COVID 19.
Thousands Sick from COVID 19.
We call it “Rona.”
Gotta rename a thing to tame it.
Yet, Still Under siege by police…
Bursting into our homes
Killing us wrongly.
Always being called on us.
Vigilanteeism too.
We call it white violence.
We recognize it.
In all its iterations.
Extralegal killings.
Thru the years.
Since the beginning.
The perfect storm.
Young white kids
With pandemic fatigue.
Dislodged from privileged berths.
Some with convictions
foreign from their ancestors.
Believing in justice.
Those Charlottesville killers.
Provocateurs as police.
Resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Flaming embers.
8 depraved minutes
And 46 seconds. For good measure.
A policeman’s knee
on a Black Man’s neck.
His hand in his pocket.
All indifferent.
On a Black Man’s neck.
A Man.
A Son.
A Father.
A Brother.
A Friend.
A Black man’s neck.
Crushing his carotid artery
Until all 46 years of surviving
Is snuffed out.
Six years each minute.
Until he called on his dead Mama.
A grown man.
Calling on his first protector.
To save him from the america
Where she had birthed him.
Same age as my only child.
1974 was a hot summer too.
The world was in turmoil.
A president caught red-handed.
99 years ago this weekend
Was a hot summer too.
Black Tulsa was bombed and burned.
By deputized white supremacists.
Three Hundred Killed.
Forty blocks of homes, churches, businesses
Destroyed in flames of hate.
The Red Summer of 1919
When my own Mama was born.
Was a hot summer too…
A pandemic of virus.
A pandemic of racism.
A pandemic of death by state.
My womb aches for Him.
For his mother’s womb.
For all Black mothers’ wombs.
We birth babies
That white women lie on.
That white men kill.
With impunity.
With fanfare.
With excuses.
1 minute
2 minutes
3 minutes
4 minutes
5 minutes
6 minutes
7 minutes–no pulse.
8 minutes–George Floyd was already dead.
46 seconds… For good measure.
A pandemic of virus.
Within a pandemic of state violence.
It only took one match
to make an explosion.
by Judy Edwards
May 30, 2020