Sunday, June 14, 2020


When An Image Trumps Words

When fear stalks people going about their daily lives, police
can kneel on a man's neck because his skin's the wrong colour.
A spur of the moment plan to walk across Lafayette Square
to a church where a small fire started in the basement.
“Take off the riot gear, I don’t see no riot here,” was chanted.
Officials said protestors were ordered to disperse three times.
But many, including the press, didn't hear the orders.
St Peter denied Jesus three times before the cock crowed.

The forty-fifth President posed in front of St John's Church,
his daughter pulls a Bible out of her $1,540 dollar handbag.
While the press office tweet about hands held, not made into fists,
he holds the book as if reading the back page, looking for a soundbite,
a slogan, 'In God We Trust', backed by an all-white line of officials,
forgetting the church noticeboard is a gift to Photoshop-savvy meme-ists.

--Emma Lee

Emma Lee’s publications include “The Significance of a Dress” (Arachne, 2020) and "Ghosts in the Desert" (IDP, 2015). She co-edited “Over Land, Over Sea,” (Five Leaves, 2015), is Poetry Reviews Editor for The Blue Nib, reviews for magazines and blogs at

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