Poetry Porch: Poetry

A Series of Four Poems
By Debbie Wiess

This Time, in Rochester, NY (March 23-30, 2020)
November 2020

A man in Rochester
was killed by police.
His name was
Daniel Prude.
They had been called
by his brother to help.

The man, mentally ill,
needed help.
He was on PCP.
He was out of control.
He was naked.
But that is why the police
were called to help.

And what happened?
They killed the man.
A “spit bag”
put on his head,
he was held down
for several minutes.
In that time
he lost consciousness.
He could not breathe.

He was a man in crisis
who needed help,
who needed compassion,
who needed humanity,
who deserved respect,
as any other human being,
but got none of that.
What he got was killed.

Copyright © 2021 by Debbie Wiess.

The Height of Hypocrisy (June 1, 2020)
November 2020

The protesters in the
American capital were
marching peacefully
behind the White House.
People of all ages, colors,
creeds, origins, backgrounds
coming together for justice.

When suddenly
the police and military
were unleashed
pulling out cudgels,
firing rubber bullets
and shooting teargas
into the crowd
exercising its right
to demonstrate.

All so the President
might go down
the block with
his entourage
for a photo op
in front of a church
he does not attend
holding a bible

Copyright © 2021 by Debbie Wiess.

A Father’s Breath
November 2020

The father of the victim
could not breathe.
Inhaler out,
the start of a fit,
an asthma attack
coming upon him as
he watched the video
from police body cameras.
Another Black man (his son)
killed by one of their number.

Copyright © 2021 by Debbie Wiess.

Yet Again
November 2020

Aghast again
our outrage growing,
we hold our own breaths
hoping the wanton cruelty,
the excessive violence,
the targeted discrimination
will stop.

It does not,
to our amazement,
yet again.

No, after everything
that has happened
over the past
several centuries
it continues.
And we ask ourselves,
what must happen still
before it ends.

Copyright © 2021 by Debbie Wiess.