#GunViolence: Yellow Lines by Anne Harding Woodworth

Shooting_of_Terence_Crutcher photo by Tulsa Police Dept Yellow Line Anne Woodworth
In memory of Terence Crutcher

He held his arms high toward a sky that had always
cupped him on cold days and warm.
Music lingered inside him tonight
and everything, even the gun,
was going to be fine—he’d done nothing wrong.
Soon he’d be on his way home.

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck.*

The cop used his taser. The cop used her gun.
The road reached up to the man
who fell, as the asphalt pulled him down
into itself, beside the two yellow lines
that divide and cut off—
it’s one way for some, another
for him who slumped alone under sky.
And the bullet spun in his gut.

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck.

He’ll never depart this sacred place,
the shirt he wore will remain.
His shoes won’t ever uncobble their stitches,
and he will sing in that street.
The chalk that outlines a shameful truth
will never wash away.

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck.

*from “Strange Fruit,” lyrics by Abel Meeropol, sung by Billie Holiday

Anne Harding Woodworth is the author of six books of poetry and four chapbooks. Her most recent chapbook is The Last Gun, an excerpt of which won the COG Poetry Award, judged by A. Van Jordan. It has subsequently been animated and can be seen at http://www.cogzine.com/watch. Harding Woodworth’s poetry, essays, and reviews appear in the U.S. and abroad in print and on line, such as in Poet Lore, TriQuarterly, Crannog, and Innisfree Poetry Journal. She lives in Washington, D.C. where she is a member of the Poetry Board at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

 

Aerial photograph of the killing of Terence Crutcher, by Tulsa Police Department.

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