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Friday, August 28, 2020


by Margery Ross

I catch the last bus
out of downtown DC on April 4, 1968.
Fires loom and looters
have a field day at
D. J. Kaufman’s across
Pennsylvania Avenue from the DOJ
where I monitor urban riots
for the Attorney General. Now
it’s me in the midst of the melee
headed toward Georgetown
hoping to get home.

Fifty-two years, history repeats,
it’s one step forward, five back.
Police still kill with impunity,
cities burn, no end to toxic words
from a reality TV celeb—
good trouble trashed as anarchy.
When reading Ta-Nehisi Coates
five years ago I protested
exaggeration. No more.
Between the World and Me—
That last bus is leaving.

Margery Ross is an artist, poet and avid book listener trying to survive in Washington, D.C.