Hail Columbia!

(some content may be distressing)

It’s his pleasure to feel
as it rests in his hands
the reading is light
can be done where he stands
Thumbing through pages
pausing with sighs
needing a fight
he loads with more lies
Memories still taunt him
bus seats and lunch counters
beating or hanging
with insults and rope
lashing and burning
any who hope
He joins in the chorus
so white does he sing
with babies crying
and bullets flying
trigger warnings
for Malcolm and King.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is author of Unbecoming American: A War Memoir and also Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..