Monday, April 17, 2006

No Zebras Allowed

Dunking donuts in my coffee,
I read the headlines
on the New York Times
There was a picture
of a black man
who had been hung
from a Red Oak tree
near an abandoned church
in Whitehurst County,
West Virginia.
A sign was nailed
on the tree
the words were scratched
with a knife
into a slab of bark.

An omen of our times.
A young black boy
wearing a pair
of tattered white sneakers
drenched shirt and holy jeans
walked in the diner
and sat next to me,
lost in the music
of his portable cd player.
And the owner of the diner
shooed him out.

He had come in
to escape the rain
and was sent back out
into the lightning.