Monday, July 6, 2020


“America is so fucked right now” grandson posts on Facebook

Chicago Spring 1968

news headline: “Martin Luther King has been shot”

rolled police cars, smashed buildings, shattered glass, smoke

rage-filled youths stone police

police batons swing through the crowd batter heads, legs, backs

white clouds of tear gas mingle with black smoke from burning store fronts

TV news

“what did you expect dad? he was a great man”

red faced father, eyes bulging, cheeks flaring

kicks open the bathroom door

pain explodes, red blood spurts on white tiled wall

shakes, slaps, kicks, furious pounding

mother views the slaughter: “stop it! stop it! stop it!”

too late…too late Mum...

she suffered the consequences …as did I

of South Side

white working-class

Catholic upbringing

anger, shame, humiliation

fear of other…

impoverished black people…

the fucking dysfunctional dissonance

of post war America


it would not be for the first time my grandson....

--Peter Bauman

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