by Melvin Douglas
to the victims of the ghetto’s gun violence
We sing ancient lullabies
to the tyrannous tune of automatic gunfire and
drunks slurring Ebonics in song;
rock-a-bye black babies
your night ends in the mourning.
Darkness is belligerent, loud-talking,
screaming obscenities, rarely forgiving
the innocent; the demons it births lie
dormant during the day, waiting silently
to ring hell’s bells; the melody you child,
will rest in peace to.
Probably, you’ll die before you wake;
the choice was never yours to make.