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One Man’s Plea

By Lita Hooper

A Found Poem from 7/7/2007

Frederick Lake has been to prison
finished his time
convicted in 1989
now faces deportation to Jamaica
insisted innocent
I wasn’t in the country
applied for a pardon

On Monday, President Bush granted
clemency to Lewis Libby Jr.
Libby was about to go to prison
Bush declared the sentence severe
to his family

Mr. Lake is the father of children 8 and 9
has heart disease and diabetes
worked at night cleaning aircraft
ran a car repair business
Mr. Lake is asking for mercy
When is INS going to come for me?

May 18, 1989 a payroll company was robbed
by a short stocky man wearing an earring
Mr. Lake did not have a pierced ear
is close to 6 feet tall
produced airline tickets from Jamaica
a week before robbery.

His passport stamps matched. The truth
is swimming on top of the water
Prosecutors challenged
Grave inaccuracies
Son says
Are they going to put me in the casket with you?

Added: Monday, June 30, 2014  /  Used with permission.
Lita Hooper

Lita Hooper is a poet, playwright and educator. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, including Crux: Conversations in Words and Images from South Africa to South USA (2008) and Tempu Tumpu/walking Naked: African Women’s Poetic Self-portrait (2009). She is the author of two chapbooks, Legacy and Perspectives, and a critical biography,  Art of Work: The Art and Work of Haki Madhubuti (2006).  Her work has also been published in online and print journals and magazines, including poetrymidwest, Drumvoices Revue, Essence, The Drunken Boat, Reverie, and Pluck! Ms. Hooper's collection of poems, Thunder in Her Voice: The Journal of Sojourner Truth, was recently published by Willow Books (2010).

Other poems by this author