The City That Bombed The Blacks by Ogechi Ofodu Atlanta Youth Poet Laureate
In May 1985, the West Philadelphia Police Department bombed
The black liberation group MOVE 9
Killing 11 members including 5 children, displacing 250+
This is a response to the blacks of the city that bombed the itself,
From the bomb.
“I didn’t want to be chosen.
They build so many of us
I don’t why I became a battle tactic in the race war
I pray you can forgive
I hope you can see that
We have things in common.
On that day, the sky turned charcoal
Turned the gloomiest shade of melancholy
Like death encompassed the clouds
Like it was trying to tell you something
On that day, I saw their bullets rain like hail
I saw a small-scale civil war
I saw a terrible lucid nightmare
To be black and obliterated on your own land
They succeeded in doing us both
Used me to make Philly burn
Used you as an example of what police could do to their own citizens
They made me kill Africa
I swear it was on accident
If I could only control my own fuse!
When they called my commander
I overheard them saying you too radical
You stepping out their barrier of allowed blackness
When waters hoses that pierce ‘militant’ hides, ain’t enough
When tear gas that make vision vanish, ain’t enough
When bullets that hail like white storms determined to wash
The Black dirt away
Call me in
The real weapon of mass incineration
C4 is the name of the acid my belly was blitzed on
My cast iron,
My black armor skin,
Erupted to savage shrapnels.
It is forever buried, with some of you, in your land
Scattered among MOVE 9’s familiar spirits
Is it bad,
I feel comfort in this?
That at least I didn’t play God and disappear
That we died together
Is it bad,
I feel it isn’t all my fault?
That I didn’t intend to inferno your family to ash
To make it easier to wipe out the black embers out of reality
That I was used for purposes that white men should have never Attempted to exploit.
That I was also a victim, too.
I’m not looking for sympathy
Just some kind of understanding
But if not,
I don’t know if I could forgive me either.”