Maxine Beneba Clarke
and by the end
no one dared to say his name
so we called him
because of how they said
it all began
that nineteen votes
let a man
into the halls of parliament
who invoked the crimes of nuremberg
whose words caught
round the necks of folk of colour
and contracted, like rope
they told us
nineteen votes let a man to lead
who tabled white supremacy
and on whose hate
the angry dark-webbed corners
then would feed
they said nineteen
senatored a man
whose tongue controlled the minds
that ruled the hands that loaded ar-15s
and who kneeled amongst the slaughter
laying blame on the beloved-innocent
so in the end
when we could not say his name
we said nineteen
This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on March 30, 2019 as "Nineteen".
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