Tonight. Tonight in Camaguey in 1870
My great-grandfather joined the Rebels
who fight slavery after seeing a woman’s baby
pea shucked out onto the square
her “master” in name only hadn’t given
his property permission to have it.
Ce Soir my uncle waits on the banks
of El Ebro, in Spain, for another fascist attack.
His Mosin broken in the last fight tossed aside
only the bayonet in his left hand, at the ready.
Ésta noche my father dragged out of bed
by a death squad out to the porch
Where my mother, pregnant, pees herself
waiting for the shot which never came:
one of the men had been my father’s student.
Tonight Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney
drive down a dusty road into the pitch black tyranny
of Mississippi but this time drive on and on and on
never making it back to Meridian from Longdale
driving on past their chalky grave in the common clay
…three saints, martyrs
to listen for any justice left in the world…
…to us. Telling their story. Tonight
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