Monday, April 11, 2011

Song for the South

So there he was, Ezra, impounded in Pisa, accused of treason
Now trading tobacco with fellow inmates forbidden to talk to him
Colored mostly, soldiers fighting for a country

That hardly fought for them. Taken away like Louis Till after
3:00 a.m. line-ups to be hung for murder and rape.
Not even 3 weeks in the gorilla cage could keep him from

Praising Il Duce in 11 lines on a piece of toilet paper
And later writing his cantos on a table made from a packing crate
B H.H. Edwards after he had gotten the charity.

Would he or anyone have guessed that 10 years later
Louis Till's 14-year-old son would be brutally murdered
For the crime of whistling at a white woman in a store

In Mississippi, where the accused were acquitted? Though
After the trial they were happy to brag to Life magazine
About what they had done as if they had done no wrong.

Distinguished Senators Stennis and Eastland looked, then, at
Louis' hanging and announced themselves satisfied that the
Same bad blood flowed in the veins of the son as the father.

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