AFTER THE RIOTS


A skyline as idiosyncratic

as Manhattan’s, Chicago’s – its totems

of wealth, faith and dominion – belies

the city’s cruelty: fortunes from famine,

despotism, slavery; licensing

of squalor, bigotry and despair.

 

In the park where the Orange Lodge drummed out

The Twelfth, a rape was immediate headlines –

white girl, black youths. In Toxteth – its decayed

squares and terraces built on molasses

and cotton, some street signs repainted green,

gold, red, the colours of Rastafari –

was daubed, ‘Vote ANC’.

 

 

 

NOTE: The poem was originally published on the site in April 2010.

 

 

 

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