Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Headline Poem 2/18/14 -- The Noose of Ole Miss

(Photo credit Washington Post)

A noose was found hung around the neck of a James Meredith statue on the campus of the University of Mississippi. He was the first black student to enroll at the school in 1962, when it was an all white campus. Here is the article from The New York Times. 

The Noose of Ole Miss

a noose
reapplied
and tied
around
the neck
of Ole Miss
attempting
to strangle,
but not to death

susceptible
to the suffocating
knot of hatred
(like anywhere else)
history is thick
with a ground
still moist
from sweat
and blood
of brothers hung
on display
to portray
the clinging
of a stolen tradition

the vulnerable neck
of the smooth,
black
statue of James Meredith
is draped
with fabric
in an attempt
to silence
the voice
of a man who
enrolled alone
in spite of the
sweltering distaste
of a thing

color lines are drawn
again
where they were erased
slightly,
like the answers
on a used test,
faint,
still there
in gray

some ancestors
escaped
the woven noose
others hung with it
our children
do not choose
to hang or cradle
the next generation
with love or hate
young eyes watch
the actions of elders
and if they hold
what is intended
for warmth,
twisted,
in front of them,
it will hang us all!