Black headstones matter, too,
disrespected, tossed into the river,
clogging the highways.
Oh, you mis-filers of souls,
their better angels have already
flown to a brown heaven
while your hands are still covered in dirt.
These were folks who built much
of what we call our country,
including the big House you would like
to keep White. Their backs broken,
their children sold away.
Respect has to be earned,
and you who discard people
because of the color of their skin,
have earned none of mine.
Should I find your gravestones,
I will toss them onto a long barge
and fling them into the deeps.
No one will discover them there,
or if they do, no one will care.
Jane Yolen‘s 400th book will be out in 2021. She has six honorary doctorates from colleges and universities for her body of work. She has also had a number of poems in Poets Reading the News.
Photograph of the White House fence by Diego Lozano.