For Chagall

 

First there were witch-spread rumours of rain

But the long dry draft-drought season suffocated hope

With implacable anaconda-authority’s inexorable ambush certainty.

Mists and histories damped the Spanish moss with lies of dew

An’, breathin’ in your East Side words,

I am twice-stung and damned by those who would, in plain sight,

Kill justice; Denying that fought-for-years-ago oxygen fix of transparency.

While the businessman bully-crow skulks and squawks is venom in

Underground white house towers and no-cause cowards, behind the noble,

Take what was never theirs (Just because they can).

That same old conquistador wind stirs yesterday’s virus words,

Poison papers, embers and echoes of songs about cane on the Brazos .

 

And when I needed a prophet, a word, a dance, a beer

When I needed comfort, the truth, an ear …

 

… And I – no longer supposed to take the knee –

Am struggling for tomorrow’s freedom-air.