Dick is a poet, attorney, and political activist living in Vista, California.
I Get Confused
Watching TV with the French door open a crack, seven
clear shots, sirens, a body in the alley across Fayette,
yellow tape, suits, groups of hushed people looking lost.
The street name is Fayette but I want to say Fallujah
runs east & west across old Baltimore, bus stop and
McDonalds at Fayette and Howard, buildings boarded
since the rebellion of ‘68 burned up and down Black
streets across America, and war raged in Vietnam.
Justice for Freddie Gray marched under our balcony in 2015 -
Justice - that shining word, moon low in the sky, far out of reach.
I've walked and driven Fayette a hundred times, but still want to say
Fallujah where our local Marines broke down doors and killed Iraqi’s
till the town was subdued, barren, wasted - more civilians killed
than fighters. I want to take Fayette west and Eutaw street north
to Sandtown, Black Baltimore abandoned, row houses & businesses
still boarded up, hand painted signs faded long ago - but I get lost.
Sirens a regular thing here, five murders a week and lesser crimes,
car crashes, fires, old guys with heart attacks. That week we heard
“All night, all day, we will fight for Freddie Gray” marching below,
media vans, suits, helicopters, more sirens, National Guard deployed
on street corners looking tough, or scared - hard to tell the difference.