A Scene from the Detroit Race Riots ’67*

Let’s build a super Wal-
Mart’s on Main Street
in the heart of ‘Merica
Mom & Pop’s stores close
we’ll breakfast on nachos
redefine  patriotism: nobody comes, nobody goes.

Willaby wallaby woo
an elephant sat on you

We’ve all heard the secret to Wall
Street: mix greed with fear, remove
humility, turn lead to gold, or just put it
in the water. Drink poison
get a fever, just moisten
collapsing forehead with water -oops-
no reviving brain cells, too toilsome
line workers, darkies, low wage, employ some.

Willaby wallaby we
an elephant sat on me

We threw shit over the wall
well, okay it was a fence, on Prevost St.
Detroit in ’67, I don’t know where we got it.
We were kids, the neighbors “weren’t from here.”
Mom made us apologize. We did it.
Never fought them again. Didn’t have too. Race riots and all.

Willaby wallaby wen
an elephant sat on them

*From today’s Poets & Writers monthly “The Time Is Now” poetry assignment: The Bop is a form of poetic argument consisting of three stanzas, each followed by a repeated line or refrain. The first stanza is six lines and presents a problem; the second stanza is eight lines and further expands upon the problem; and the third stanza is six lines and either resolves or documents the failure of resolving the problem. 

**Image from http://photogrvphy.com/riots-in-detroit-1967/

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