Burning Still

on the 20th Year Commemoration of the Move Bombing (May 13, 1985)

Copyright 2005 by Ewuare Osayande

a goode for nothing negro
first black mayor of the city
would not become an ambassador
but an embarrassment to his people

playing tough in Rizzo’s shadow
plotting death
with feds and city hall gangstas
who call him nigger
under their breath

and to show their barbarity
it was on the day to celebrate mothers
to celebrate life
that the bomb was dropped
on a family that named themselves after the Mother of Civilization
and an entire block was plunged into hell

and Osage Avenue
became Hanoi in Vietnam

an inferno of heat and lies

the fire dept
became skilled arsonists that day
as they sat on the sidewalk
and watched the block burn
and 11 people inside one home

and we are still burning
and we are still burning
the flames remain
like they do in Tulsa and Rosewood

the fire still rages
in us
the more we learn
the more we burn
with a desire for justice
for righteous retribution

to forgive and forget is not an option
when 9 innocent people still sit in cells
serving the time that should be the punishment
of those that did the crime
of premeditated murder
of a family that loves nature
and blesses the earth
a family that sees the presence of God
in birds, butterflies and human beings
and who are quick to indict devils
who profess humanity
but fail to be humane

keep a record of the names of those
who have put us in these flames

and we do not walk the limp of victims
we stride through the fire as survivors
stronger still
we do not walk alone
but have turned the fire into two torches
one named Ramona
the other Pam

the phoenix of our thirst rises out of the ashes
of the dead
we are moving still
on a Move!
moving still

they cannot make bombs big enough
to blow away our will to live
to be free
to be

so we are rising
still on fire

for this city is still a hell
and good negroes still plot death
under the shadow of white gangstas
who call themselves officials
and pray to Hoover’s ghost

in Philadelphia
the city that loves you back
unless you’re Black

we know
we know

why the Liberty Bell is cracked

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