Magnificat, 2015


“Magnificat, 2015” by Sharon Rauenzahn

before we forgive black people
born black for just that fact
before justice falls, trickles down, settles,
in Reaganomic love,
making the poor unpoor
sending the rich away empty
scattering the proud of heart
there must, there will be, some spotless lamb
the perfect sacrifice

no michael brown, smoking pot, stealing cigarillos
high before noon
blowing off the chance he’s afraid to take
of college, the necessity to make
something more of himself than st louis society
will ever permit

no trayvon martin, hoodie-wearing, suspended from school,
why was he walking at night?
he could have called 911 we say,
said he was being attacked
instead of fighting back,
desperate manhood,
at that crazy wife-beating neighborhood watcher
if he’d stayed in school, he’d be alive now

and did you see the gun
Tamir Rice
dead at 12, beloved son,
was waving around that snow-frosted park?
it looks too real
Ohio is an open carry state but
maybe not for black boys
born black

so keep going back, think of Rodney King,
beaten by cops, high on pcp
or mad as hell
or just drunk, speeding from the law,
winding up in the same rough town
where the first LAPD lady cop
dead in the line of duty
only just fell
cops from a hundred miles around
went to that funeral


no tainted lamb
spots or stripes or one off-color ear
only the perfect sacrifice,
the one we’re waiting for
the one with no prior

Black Jesus maybe,
down from his rude cross
shot jay-walking on the jordan river
or healing a blind man
born blind
unlike the rest of us, who are without excuse

December 29, 2015 (rev. 9/4/2016)

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