He’s under suspicion…

The rioters all knew him—
it had to be an inside job—
‘cause to a man they spoke
to him by name as they
breached the building.
Read their lips…

And that staged chase?
Why, if it had been real he
would have done what any
Officer fearing for his life would
have done—Any officer who feared
for his life the year before would
have done—Any officer who might
fear for his life in the next four
years would have done… Trust me.

And they pulled their punches—
sure he suffered a shiner,
busted lip; chipped tooth—
but he took those for the team…

Are you going to tell me that he
didn’t even have his name tag on
and every marauder greeted him:
“Officer N. Word—“ “N.” for short?”

Raymond Nat Turner is a NYC poet privileged to have read at the Harriet Tubman Centennial Symposium. He is Artistic Director of the stalwart JazzPoetry Ensemble UpSurge and has appeared at numerous festivals and venues including the Monterey Jazz Festival and Panafest in Ghana West Africa. He currently is Poet-in-Residence at Black Agenda Report. Turner has opened for such people as James Baldwin, People’s Advocate Cynthia McKinney, radical sportswriter Dave Zirin and CA Congresswoman Barbara Lee following her lone vote against attacking Afghanistan. He is Co-Chair of the NY Chapter National Writers Union (NWU). Read other articles by Raymond Nat, or visit Raymond Nat's website.