Attica Arrest(ed development)
One day, by my driveway
A man in a used sedan was stopped by a cop
for D.W.B. (Driving While Black)
I know this is so because I asked the officer
why the man was pulled over
Officer Smithjones replied,
“He was driving with an impaired view of his windshield.”
“He had Mardi Gras beads hanging from his rear view mirror.”
Oh. Then my sharp little pie-eater opened wide,
first muttering, then sputtering, uttered at top volume
(for the benefit of staring, but unconcerned, neighbors):
“All the rednecks in this town with
big fuzzy dice like dried-up 20-mule-team
cajones hanging in their big ole trucks, and
you stopped this man over a string of beads?
And you wonder why people decry we’re a
To make it more poignantly, patently ridiculous,
the poor guy was trying to make his way to AA
Ironic, since that town
almost drove me to drink
© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
I still can’t believe I survived five years in a town where someone flew a Confederate flag in front of his house and the “N” word was used without hesitation. Of course, I have no time for racism and I do call it out. I hate being in a Wonder Bread crowd and people assuming I’m “one of the gang.” I’m social justice, hard core, sharp tongue and all. It loses me friends, but when it does, I say, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” because they were not friends to begin with – friends share values, like integrity.
True story, edited from an old version. Though I knew many wonderful folks during our years there, the authoritarian figures were often racist and WAY out of line. I believe it’s part of the blowback of never having reconciliation sessions after the “Attica Prison Riots” of the ‘70s.