memories of my youth

as children

we learned to stand on one leg

clasping bundles of hope between our teeth


not because we wanted

to resemble flocks of black flamingos


one foot in the smelly pile was better than two


the sky beckoned

its blue hues a promise

we carried in those little bundles

clamped tightly between our still forming teeth


some of us were trapped

unable to free the one foot-fall for lift-off


there were others whose wings were clipped

when their bright eyes betrayed

their recognition of amerikkka's truth


ninety-nine shots fired

as their backs arched

the majestic power of wings spread wide

surging upwards towards blue redemption


this is how sky colour became word for despair

anguished stain lynchings passed for religion

Bibliographical info
Douglas Gary Freeman, "memories of my youth" from Crossing lines : poets who came to Canada in the Vietnam war era. Copyright © 2008 by Douglas Gary Freeman. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Source: Crossing lines : poets who came to Canada in the Vietnam war era (Seraphim Editions, 2008)
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