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Tuesday, November 14, 2017


by  Jon Taylor

Image source: Newspaper Rock

Ask a Native American
declared a “merciless Indian savage”
in the country’s founding document
taught with reverence to schoolchildren.

Ask a descendant
of slaves from Africa
who isn’t behind bars with two million
others of his inheritance.

Ask a Mexican
who had the temerity
to resettle in the land Anglos stole
from his ancestors.

Ask an Arab immigrant
who was removed from an airplane
because his fellow passengers
felt uncomfortable in his presence.

Ask a six-year-old
taken from school in handcuffs
because he pulled the pigtails
of the girl in front of him.

Ask the parents
who lost custody of their children
because they let them walk home
from school by themselves.

Ask the old boy
shot dead in his armchair
when the law broke down his front door
looking for someone else.

Ask yourself
while being cavity searched
at the side of the road
for rolling through a stop sign.

Jon Taylor is the author of Berry Picker’s Blues, a book of Michigan/Northwoods/Upper Peninsula poems. He can be reached at taylor.jon440[at] .