Poetry Sunday columns this month will reprise previous features of black women poets and poems that take up questions of social justice. We share the outrage and heartbreak over the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and other BIPOC and believe that a courageous dialogue about racial prejudice is critical to the survival of our culture and country. These poems remind us that poetry is a powerful vehicle for such a dialogue, and we will continue to make them a regular part of the Poetry Sunday series.

 

Three Sonnets from A Wreath for Emmett Till

III

Pierced by the screams of a shortened childhood,
my heartwood has been scarred for fifty years
by what I heard, with hundreds of green ears.
That jackal laughter. Two hundred years I stood
listening to small struggles to find food,
to the songs of creature life, which…

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