By Penny Perry
for Colin Kaepernick
Poor men. Former slaves. Doors
slamming in their brains. Eyes
squinting through bronze grids.
Limbs, lungs, exposed like glass
windows. Clothed. Fed.
Celebrated with laurel wreaths.
Told not to speak. Mouths shut
like boarded houses. Words
in ruins like the fields of rubble
where they once lived. Half a
wall still standing. Poppies,
red as blood, in bloom.
Penny Perry is a six-time Pushcart Prize nominee in poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in California Quarterly, Lilith, Redbook, Earth’s Daughter, the Paterson Literary Review and the San Diego Poetry Annual.
Her first collection of poems, Santa Monica Disposal & Salvage (Garden Oak Press, 2012) earned praise from Marge Piercy, Steve Kowit, Diane Wakoski and Maria Mazziotti Gillan. She writes under two names, Penny Perry and Kate Harding.