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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 5: October 2020
Poem: 147 words
By Laurel Benjamin

My Country

on the shooting of Jacob Blake

White crosses on a hill above Wilson Heights 
singing “My country, ’tis of thee”
but the victim’s sister sings another song
at this march on Washington—
she holds America accountable,
has cried for each person killed by cops
all these years, yet has no tears left
for her brother, shot seven times
while reaching in his car
holes in his stomach,
spinal cord severed
“Sweet land of liberty”
his three little kids in the back seat
“Of thee I sing.”
Their grandfather strived for equal education
in the wake of Dr. King, this solid family 
in a neighborhood with more crosses
than lives.
“Land where my fathers died”
except this is a paraplegic
who says to his family
“don’t let me weigh you down.”

Laurel Benjamin
Issue 5, October 2020

lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has appeared in Turning a Train of Thought Upside Down: An Anthology of Women’s Poetry; California Quarterly; and The Midway Review. She is affiliated with the Bay Area Women’s Poetry Salon and with Port Townsend Writers.

More of her work can be found at: https://thebadgerpress.blogspot.com

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