Zoo Atlanta

by Mwatabu S. Okantah

the southern beauty
is always heavy
the silences

driving through the city,
i always listen
for the leaves whispering in the trees.
an advertisement reads,
"Zoo Atlanta"(for
a brief moment i imagined
a hideous,
smiling, big lipped
black face peering back at me
from the bill board ...).
i pondered the not too
hidden meanings.

on the six o'clock news
they report
a black male shot a black female
in a grocery store
parking lot.
in his mind she did not move
fast enough.
he drove his car too close.
she sprayed him
with mace.
he shot her in the chest, and
in the face.

the right people are not
talking about Wayne Williams
in this city
leadership likes to say
"is too busy to hate."
their Black American dream
is on trial here.
the dead are not missing.
they wander
the desolate streets
of our racial
by day
and by night:

they no longer
recognize us.
we have
forgotten how
to remember them:

Zoo Atlanta ...

           New South

Zoo Atlanta by Mwatabu S. Okantah

© Copyright 2000. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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