Praying with Fringes 09/03/2016 – What if we built a God out of justice

After the Vigil for the Charleston Church Massacre
Stevie Edwards
Ithaca, NY – June 24, 2015

What if we built a God
out of justice. If we prayed
for justice to lead our daily actions
before scrambled eggs and coffee,
if we tithed to justice, dated
only people who believed in the right
justice, got our knees dirty
kneeling on asphalt
in front of police stations
and banks praying for justice
to banish the infidels. What if
we worshipped justice
as much as comfort,
didn’t move our protest lines
when the cab drivers honked.
What if after the vigil
nobody asked if people wanted
to do a die-in, if it wasn’t
perhaps too late. What if
we asked justice what she thinks
we should do to the town
tonight. What if justice
says we need more cowbell,
more pots and pans,
more yell with our lily white
liberal mouths. What if justice
says she doesn’t even need us—
checking our cellphones
on the crowd’s periphery
as a black woman talks about fear.

—Rattle Poets Respond
June 28, 2015

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