For the MOVE Bombing, Philadelphia, 1985

Were there any Mother’s Day flowers

For Birdie Africa’s mom the day the

Philadelphia police cleared one square

City block in preparations for their massacre?

Did the mothers trapped in that burning row house

Get bouquets of lilies and roses and carnations

And hugs and smiles and warm salutations?

Because the outside world sure wasn’t

Giving them any. Just bombs and fire, a

Mini-Dresden for mini-Hitlers, a show of civic power,

For they can’t afford Family Africa’s kind of truth

Wafting down Osage and into the hearts and minds

They would rather slay than have educated.

Perhaps Birdie picked a fledgling bloom

From between the cracks of urban doom

And gave it to his mother who straddled

The San Andreas fault of black injustice

With her family enduring by her side

In that inhumane squalor their

Desperate voices cried out from, with

Only the hand of brutality answering their call.

Chris Robideaux is a poet and author living in Northern California. His poetry has appeared in Softblow, The Melic Review and other outlets. He is the author of  Thespia's Abandon