There are fists making tom toms of eardrums,
boots kicking downbeats in skulls,
in every state of tinted circles.
We the trapped traps bear marks
of all their sticks and mallets,
all their Billyclub Cobhams.
This is the only freedom we can firework:
Freedom to have our snare skin
struck until it cracks
as white hands
play "God Bless America"
from the bandstand on our backs.
Added: Thursday, June 29, 2017 / Used with permission.
Truth Thomas is a singer-songwriter and poet, born in Knoxville, Tennessee, raised in Washington, DC. He is the founding editor of Cherry Castle Publishing, Editor-in-Chief of The Skinny Poetry Journal, Co-editor of Tidal Basin Review, and Board Member of the Little Patuxent Review. His poetry collections include Party of Black (2006), A Day of Presence (2008), Bottle of Life (2010), and Speak Water (2012), winner of the 2013 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry.