Sweet American Pie?

He said some people just
don’t believe in any systems
the hottest July on record
(when my wedding flowers melted)
was just summer being summer,
like boys will be boys
police violence and rape culture
the hoaxiest of hoaxes
just a few bad apples
ruining sweet American pie for us all.

The journalist interviewed the rapist
and cop one after the other
and in a flash forgot Perpetrator’s name,
calling him Victim
searching for the correct appellation
Did you hear white college boy’s life
was ruined by 20 mins of action?
Just like Breonna and George
(now Walter Wallace)
got those officers fired.

They say Emmitt Till really didn’t
whistle at that white woman either
but when Law is quoted on the radio,
he often obscures
truths buried way underneath.
The City of Brotherly Love
weeps tonight
as it slumbers
another black son felled
by those we hired to protect us.

Ellen Skilton is a professor of education whose publications have appeared in Anthropology & Education Quarterly, Curriculum Inquiry, TESOL Quarterly, and Rebelle Society. She is an educational anthropologist, an applied linguist and a Fringe Fest performer. She is in the first year of an MFA Program in Creative Writing at Arcadia University. Her scholarship and creative writing often focus on addressing inequity in the United States. Read other articles by Ellen.