i was 15 when hate rolled into my little city
and blew everything apart.
it was hurricane season.
i never thought i’d have to face
the same enemy my grandfather squashed in WWII
although i guess 73 years isn’t as long ago
as it seems.
monsters don’t have scraggly fur and gnarled claws and jagged teeth.
they’re white men with tiki torches
and intolerance carved between their knitted eyebrows
and murderous intent pumping through their shriveled veins.
when i look up ‘charlottesville’
instead of pictures of UVA or Monticello,
i find images that make my heart drop to my feet
the same way it did watching the news that day.
you always think, ‘it can’t happen here’,
but then the grenade explodes
and you’re left stunned with singed hands
having to deal with the aftermath.
one and a half years have passed
and most have moved on
but my wound remains as fresh as ever
and hasn’t scabbed over like it has for everyone else.
they tell me to move on
but this isn’t an ex-boyfriend i can easily get over
it’s my home
and these halls remain haunted.
‘you will not replace us’, they jeered,
vitriol and slobber splattering from mouths
that couldn’t be cleaned
even if they spent eternity brushing their teeth.
when all that blood was spilt on beloved streets,
could they tell if the owner was dark or light?
it was all just the same shade of red,
staining us crimson on the map.
how can you tell black people to go back to africa
when you dragged them here hundreds of years ago;
how can you assert that all lives matter
and then stamp out the ones led by those who look different from you?
your glass houses are made of mirrors
instead of windows to the real world
maybe it’s time to crawl out from your mother’s basements
and step outside to see the light.
supposedly, virginia is for lovers,
so i’m ripping out the poisonous seeds you sowed
and watering the plants you burned down.
it’s the other way around-- your hate will not replace our love.
All poems are copyrighted 2019 by their respective authors and may not be used elsewhere without their express permission.