Monday, January 4, 2021


In Seal Beach, California after George Floyd’s Murder

We see the cars through breaks in the trees:
police vehicles from surrounding towns
scream down the boulevard.

A fire truck leads a new chaos of sirens;
we walk through the neighborhood
where friends dine in backyards.

We don’t notice when the sirens stop,
keep walking toward the beachfront road,
watching the orange sun drop behind the sea.

People in front yards lift glasses to lips, sirens
forgotten. Heading back we find the way to our car
barred by yellow tape. Policemen smile, point the way.

Three times we cross their tape, each time we say
Good evening, each time they say it back and smile.
Lives have just been changed forever, but we,

with our white hair, our sun-lined faces,
pass through like royalty, enrobed in garments
fashioned from the lucky accident of our birth.

--Tamara Madison

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