by Jenny Kuderer
The fires of rage burn, conflagration
Engulfing blocks in an inferno of pain.
The seeds of injustice need to be dug up,
Cast aside, replaced with new seedlings.
Columbus is knocked from his pedestal,
Thrown into the water to be carried away.
Churchill’s statue vandalized, words that
Accuse of racist animus, of nearly unforgivable
Flaws that ought not be held up in esteem.
“Pigs” emblazoned on a line of police cruisers,
Smashed windshields, molotov cocktails,
Toxic smoke from the burn of metal and
Plastic and gasoline, dividing the protesters
From police, creating fumes that burn the
Throat, choke the breath. All the while
Utterances of “I can’t breathe” haunt these
Seas of demands for justice mixed with
The intent to destroy. For the man whose
Life was snuffed out, let peace find a place
To stay, spray paint put down, billy club laid
On the ground, truths spoken with hearts open,
Rancor replaced by fearless speech, trying to
Understand the views that each side represents,
Taking moral leadership cues from within, not
Waiting for a figure like the President to emerge
To help make this Union whole, as hatred and
Violence we stow and compassionate eyes we
Wipe dry, arms linked with both sides, we are
Determined to rise up, build trust via just deeds.
Equality for all as our North Star, as beings of
Love and integrity endeavor to live, and peacefully,
No knee pressed against any warm, fleshy neck.
In the march of time, we let go of sweet, animating breath;
With grace unspoken, humbly, softly, as mortals do,
We die with the flames of justice burning in the soul.
Our hearts, our Union, more than an iota closer to whole.