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Monday, January 05, 2015


by Jo-Ann Reid

We trade causes like children playing at double-dutch; tagged in and out like committee positions trading lip-service leaving the sheen of caring. Which cops are on the take? Why aren’t the good ones shouting to the rafters? Which are massaging bullets erect in flimsy pockets and digging for press conference notes? Anticipate the groove of pen strokes feigning apologies; the inflation of yellow tape and chalk the same shade that black boy used to trace; committing his own name to cursive.

Armored with gold coins some toss their blinding hair, glimmer in branded outfits from thousand-dollar plate dinner guests gorged on handshakes and conjured commitment.

Dialed-in causes that will do nothing but pluck our peacock feathers. Hooked on our own coins; the best parts of ourselves devoured; and still--our tongues click with unrest.

Are we any different?

Jo-Ann Reid is an Associate Professor of English at Dean College in Franklin, MA.  The youngest daughter of established Haitian immigrants, her work explores cross-cultural boundaries, gender, restriction and issues of social injustice. Ms. Reid won a poetry contest judged by Harryette Mullen while earning her MFA at The Pennsylvania State University.