Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Names

Two young black men in Florida lie slain,
Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis,
their names joining Emmett Till’s
in Mississippi and the many thousands gone
before, all sacrificed to the gods of power,
those who murder calmly to see them die:
“You work all your life for me, then die.
We brought you here from Africa.
We made our own dream come true,
why don’t you? We used whips then:
we herded you out to do the labor.
We use guns now: we need your progeny
dead. We will always stand our ground.
And soon we’ll have our country back!”


“Give me children or I die. There’s more than one meaning to it.”
--The Handmaid’s Tale

I pick up where I left the 1985 novel
by Margaret Atwood of Ontario
imagining how women may be forced to live
the future if fiction becomes the truth . . .
should the bastards have their way.
The State’s babies will belladonna from
the wombs of women enslaved by men.
Nolite te bastardos carborundorum. *

This Year Like Others

Men stand in line with women seeking jobs,
Far too many have no shelter, clothing, food.
The rich have taken everything.
Nixon, Reagan, Daddy Bush and Junior
have led them to their promised land.
The gods put us closer to Canada than Florida.

Annie Henry lives here, sometimes in Jacksonville.
Annie’s folks were black Georgia sharecroppers.
Annie’s here much of the year. Her river Jordan
runs through Bemidji. We sing together:
I, Wayfaring Stranger; and she, Jacob’s Ladder.
My love plays piano. Our blonde daughter
(or so we like to pretend) was born poor
but sings like an angel her song As a Deer . . .
I am blessed to be loved by women,
I who have not yet turned my hand against a man.

* Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

(20-21, 24 July 2013)

copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander

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