Levee

25 Nov

Johnny and his friends bent steel with their hands,
sent rocks and bottles at cars full of white

revelers on the Sunday streets of Birmingham.
A black church had been bombed, four young lives taken. 

Johnny cussed and flung his reprimand
till the law came.  Johnny ran, but a cop and shotgun

did him in, like a hurricane ripping a door out
from its jamb.  In the alley, dust, and a flow of desperation.

A small stream had risen, had breached its banks,
and there was no earthen levee that could hold him.

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