NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 18 Issue 1 - Winter 2018 - Page 44

poetry By Melba Joyce Boyd Eulogy for Detroit, 1967 “Repression breeds retaliation,” Robert Kennedy Cooper, Pollard and Temple, 3 black teenagers caught crossing the color line, aspiring pimps partying with white prostitutes; caught betwixt and between the skin game and police rage emboldened by fire power and Marshall Law; 3 young men trapped in the annex of civil disobedience, like movie extras doomed in a script, or like refugees detained at the border without citizenship, restrained, beaten and murdered in the recesses of city unrest. III. In the aftermath, ignorant and absent of brown peers, of family or community grief for the deceased, 12 jurors, boxed in a white courtroom beyond inner-city view, dismiss witnesses and evidentiary examples, and deem murders by cop justifiable homicides of Carl Cooper, Aubury Pollard and Fred Temple, unarmed teenagers guilty only of carnal sin and dark skin. IV. “The Algiers Motel” now lies beneath the clay of decay, while 12th Street recalls Rosa Parks, a veteran of domestic wars, symbolic renaming on the outskirts of city planning and sacred burial grounds. 50 years hence, people live with history twisted by myths brooding with untruths to justify retaking the city from survivors of ’67, repossessing homes with excessive taxes, extreme insurance rates and soaring utility bills for water too expensive to drink; even in the City of Flint, where rusted, lead pipes funnel poison into kitchen sinks; while arsonists acquire acreage for real estate moguls to house hipsters, born-again Republicans, and capitalist investors, claiming to save us from ourselves as white folks move back and the mayor ain’t black. V Peregrine falcons once soared above skyscrapers, and perched on gargoyles viewing museums filled with tempered memories savored for patrons on passages to yesteryears. This poem… this poem is a eulogy, a remembering, an unearthin )х)Ʌٕ̰)ɕ̰ͭ)ѼɕЁݽչ)ͅ(啅́ѕȃdܰ)ѼɕɥٔɕѠ)ɕٕ̰́́)ɥͥ)ݥѠѡչѽ))͕ձ)ɔ)յɕ̸+ ɥЀ܁5)協 )ÍI͕ٕ(%%$) Ѡɕ)ɥͥ)͵Ց̰)Ʌչɵ)٥́ѡ)́5ѕ)ͥѼɥ)ȁ͍)q ͅt)ݡɔM)ѡ)́ȁ а)ѡɼ)ѥ͍ʹ(%$) ́ͱݕȰ)ٔ͡ɔ)ѡɕѕ)ݥѠݕ)ݥ)͡ѕȁȁݥ̰)ɥ)́а)ͥ́)͵ɽչ(Ѡ ɵչа)́䁅хє)ձ́ɥ)ѵЁե)хɝЁɅѥ)ȁYѹ͔٥)ULɵх́)ݸձمɑ)ѡȁՑ)ɥ)ȁɽ镸)ձ䁡)͹́ɕɸɔ)Ѽѡѽɴ