Memorial Day.
Article Type: Poem
Author: X, Marvin
Pub Date: 12/01/2010
Publication: Name: Journal of Pan African Studies Publisher: Journal of Pan African Studies Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Journal of Pan African Studies ISSN: 0888-6601
Issue: Date: Dec, 2010 Source Volume: 4 Source Issue: 2
Accession Number: 306754423
Full Text: --Marvin X 25 May 2007, Brooklyn NY revised 5/31/10
Memorial Day

   I am a veteran
   Not of foreign battlefields
   Like my father in world war one
   My uncles in world war two
   And Korea
   my friends from Vietnam
   And Congo "police action"
   But veteran none the less
   Exiled and jailed because I refused
   To visit Vietnam as a running dog for imperialism
   I visited Canada, Chicago, Harlem, Mexico and Belize
   Federal prison for a minute
   But veteran I am
   of the war in the hood
   war of domestic colonialism
   neo-colonialism
   White supremacy in black face war
   Fighting for black power that turned white
   Or was always white
   as in the other white people
   war it was and is
   Every day without end
   no RR no respite just war
   For colors like kindergarten children war
   For turf warriors don't own and run when popo comes
   War for drugs and guns and women
   War for hatred jealousy envy
   Dante got a scholarship
   but couldn't get on the plane fast enough
   The boyz in the hood met him on the block and jacked him
   Relieved him of his gear
   shot him in the head because he could read
   Play basketball
   had all the pretty girls
   a square
   The boyz wanted him dead like themselves
   Wanted him to have a shrine with liquor bottles and teddy bears
   candles

   Wanted his mama and daddy to weep and mourn at the funeral
   Like all the other moms and dads, uncle aunts cousins
   Why should he make it out the war zone
   The blood and broken bones of war in the hood
   No veterans day no benefits no mental health sessions
   No conversation
   who cares who wants to know about the dead
   In the hood
   warriors gone down in the ghetto night
   We heard the Uzi at 3am and saw the body on the steps til 3 pm
   When the coroner finally arrived as children passed from school

   I am the veteran of ghetto wars of liberation aborted
   morphed into wars of self destruction
   drugs supplied from police vans
   Guns diverted from the army base
   sold 24/7 behind the Arab store.

   Junior is 14 but the main arms merchant in the hood
   sells guns from his backpack
   His daddy wants to know how he get all them guns
   Junior don't tell cause he warrior
   He's lost more friends than daddy
   What can daddy tell him about war
   death and blood and bones

   He says he will get rich or die trying
   But life is for love not money
   And if he lives he will learn.
   If he makes it out the war zone to another world
   Where they murder in suits and suites
   golf courses and yachts
   if he makes it even beyond this world
   He will learn that love is better than money
   For he was once on the auction block
   sold as a thing property
   For money, yes,
   for the love of money but not for love
   his memory short and absent of truth
   blunted
   The war in the hood has tricked him into the slave past
   Like a programmed monkey
   he acts out the slave auction
   The sale of himself on the corner with his homeys
   Trying to pose cool in the war zone

   I will tell him the truth
   maybe one day it will hit him like a bullet
   In the head
   It will hit him multiple times in the brain until he awakens to the
      real battle
   In the turf of his mind.
   And he will stand tall and deliver himself to the altar of truth to
      be a witness
   Along with his homeys
   They will take charge of their posts
   They will claim their turf and it will be theirs forever
   Not for a moment in the night
   But in the day and in the tomorrows
   And the war will be over
   No more sorrow no more blood and bones
   No more shrines on corner with liquor bottles teddy bears candles.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.


 
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