She was good looking.
He whistled in appreciation.
Rednecks approached: “Black boy,
gonna teach you a lesson.”
Pistol whipped, drowned, 14. Emmett Till.
Open casket: Mama’s wishes.
That cruel reality slapped us awake.
© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Trifecta Friday: Write a horror poem or story in exactly 33 words, without employing the following words: blood, scream, died, death, knife, gun, or kill. I chose this true story because for me, there is nothing more frightening than to put oneself in the shoes of a victim of hate crime, and Emmett Till’s death and public funeral were key to the outrage that sparked the Civil Rights Movement, a cause my mother believed in deeply and outspokenly.
This poem will also appear at Poets United, my poetic peeps.
A new friend, Lafemmeroar, who inducted me into The Crazy Chicks Club, needed to see this poem, written back in 2010 but never published on my blog. It’s a serious problem in our society, and, as you all know, I take these issues head on. Also at my haven, Poets United. Amy
There’s an old warehouse downtown
where they meet in secret
Sneaking down alleyways alone or in pairs
through the backdoor of an old meat-packing plant
It’s quiet; it’s remote; no one will discover them there
as they open drawers full of potions
creams and lotions and pallored paint
They pull robes and silky clothes from rusty hangers
Readying themselves for the ritual
Preening with great care as giant hooks swing over their heads
remnants of the enterprise this building once housed
Hideously masked, garishly garbed, in hats with small bells
They frolic as they practice their ancient art
Every movement coordinated, they caper and careen
The thought of their doings makes my blood run cold, even now
Grown men in clown suits, rehearsing a new routine
© Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil