(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)
January 19, 2010
[on this date the US Supreme Court, by a vote of 9-0, overturns a lower court ruling that set aside the death penalty for Mumia Abu-Jamal]
Truth is stood upon its head — once more
today. Fitting, I would say, that we
receive your latest declaration
of imposing death just hours after pausing
to remember Martin. For on his holiday
each year we hear consistent drumbeats
of a lesson learned so well: Never fail
an opportunity to justify this nation’s lies
by draping them in someone else’s truth.
here is one truth that haunts you still:
A lie has been proclaimed each time
nine final names are draped
with the title “Justice,” then again
when it is said you reign supreme.
For I can hear the voices of a higher court
chanting in the street not far away.
“Brick by brick” and “wall by wall,
we’re going to free . . .” they rule,
certain that a time arrives when these–
like Martin’s honest words–become
transformed into a power even you
must flail at helplessly, in your supremacy
of lies. And then, when truth be all,
nine black-robed heads of densest brick
will find themselves among the first to fall.