June 28, 2015

Stevie Edwards

AFTER THE VIGIL FOR THE CHARLESTON CHURCH MASSACRE

Ithaca, NY – June 24, 2015

What if we built a God
out of justice. If we prayed
for justice to lead our daily actions
before scrambled eggs and coffee,
if we tithed to justice, dated
only people who believed in the right
justice, got our knees dirty
kneeling on asphalt
in front of police stations
and banks praying for justice
to banish the infidels. What if
we worshipped justice
as much as comfort,
didn’t move our protest lines
when the cab drivers honked.
What if after the vigil
nobody asked if people wanted
to do a die-in, if it wasn’t
perhaps too late. What if
we asked justice what she thinks
we should do to the town
tonight. What if justice
says we need more cowbell,
more pots and pans,
more yell with our lily white
liberal mouths. What if justice
says she doesn’t even need us—
checking our cellphones
on the crowd’s periphery
as a black woman talks about fear.

Poets Respond
June 28, 2015

[download audio]

__________

Stevie Edwards: “I had the odd happenstance of being offered a job in Charleston, South Carolina, this week, and wrote a few poems in response to the recent church massacre/act of terrorism there.” (website)