“Pastoral scene of the gallant south…”
-Billie Holiday (Strange Fruit)
Byron de la Beckwith
Sometimes it starts with a bonfire
or begins with taunting and spitting
quickly graduating to cursing and
punching and kicking some
body as hard as you can
for the sheer joy of causing them pain
as entertainment for the crowd now
celebrating the crack or pop of broken
bodies, showering outstanding individual
violence with applause and cheers.
All you need is some body wearing
the color you’ve been taught to hate
some body threatening to take
what’s rightfully yours
and a little girl with her thighs exposed
held high in the air and screaming.
Frank X Walker
“Homecoming” is from No More Fear: The Rebirth of Medgar Evers.