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Obie Weathers #00999396
9/27/2020

In honor of my brother who was executed 2 years ago – and in light of the recent movements against racism in the country, I would like to share a poem I wrote days after his death. It is my hope the discussion around criminal justice reform soon focuses its lens on the death penalty.

The Feet Of History
I
So many of us
Have walked out of here
On feet
That are not our own

Several days ago
Another such one

Echoes
Still vivid
In our memories

Of the man
We called Jasiri

II
I can not describe
To you
The feet
Of my friend
But I saw them once
Up close
And they were not pretty:
Gnarled, bark-like things
Pork rinds for toes
And fish scales for heels

“I know my feet are messed up”
He said
When pointed them out to Him

A silly thing

He’d been living with them for years
29 at that point

And somehow, His voice seems to had known
The secret of His feet:
The history
That bore Him across
This concrete dystopia
Was mangled

Tangled
In a
Gordian knot
That long ago
Twisted a noose
Into His fate

And swung Him ‘round
So that His body
Made contact
With every
Jagged edge
Of His reality
Scarring
His vocal cords
With knowing

III
WE are told: “It is your choice!”
WE are sold: “The sky’s the limit!”
But, WE are given two pair of feet:
Those WE walk through our dreams
Towards the good things with

And those WE walk with – in spite
Our better selves
And their diligent efforts –
Towards the grave resisting change


 

 

See all poetry for Obie Weathers #00999396