Oh Creator, Jehovah, Yahweh, God, Lord, whoever you are
Are you the God of the lynchers or the lynched?
The oppressors or the oppressed?
The slavers or the enslaved?
I sat in church and I heard about the sanctity of life
and the firstborn of Egypt condemned to death
and there were no tears for the wailing Egyptian mothers
I guess the Egyptian children were just the unlucky vessels of your wrath
and those same upright god-fearing people preaching the sanctity of life
don’t say a word when another black body hits the pavement
begging for breath as the blue uniform crushes out the life
and those same congregations singing about resurrection and empty tombs
in their unmasked masses crowding together
ignoring the 2.5 million souls worldwide filling the graves from the plague.
They believe in the plagues of Egypt, flies and a river of blood in an
ancient book from long ago and far away
but the plague of here and now is a hoax, fake news
and they preach a savior who gave up his rights
but they claim their right to refuse to put a cloth over nose
and mouth out of care for their neighbor.
I sat in church and learned that Jesus loves the little children
red and yellow, black and white
and I guess it’s good they’re precious in his sight
because in the eyes of the nice white churchgoers
they are expendable if they’re black or brown
the Emmet Tills and Tamir Rices and Trayvon Martins
and their mamas’ wails are Rachel weeping for her children,
because they are no more at the hands of a corrupt and brutal system
America does the will of Herod even while we sing songs of Christ the King.
O God, do you care about justice at all?
Or is justice just for bakers who don’t want to make cakes for queers
and keeping guns in the hands of whatever white man who wants one?
I sat in church and heard about the wrath of the Lord against nations
where the poor were ignored, but capitalism is God’s economics.
Boaz let Ruth glean and gave her extra measures
but handouts breed entitlement and laziness.
It’s crazy to think what that itinerant preacher-man taught about our neighbors
but I guess he didn’t understand that white folks have to band together
and take a stand for the Red-White-and-Blue, for we’ve got our freedoms to shield
and if you kneel during the anthem that’s blasphemy
but the Blue can kneel on the neck of a man because
that’s what he was trained to do.
And the nice white churchgoers tell me you can’t
stop funding the system that shields you because of a few bad apples
while the bushels of poisoned apples kill and kill and the black mamas weep and wail.
I sat in church and heard about the prophets of the Lord
who walked the streets of the wicked nations calling out for repentance
and maybe we’re overdue for some sackcloth and ashes
but nice white churchgoers don’t repent for what their ancestors did
we’re too busy singing songs about Easter, resurrection, we’re washed in the blood
while the streets flood with the blood and the tears
and year after year in church comes the cross and the crown of thorns
the bread and the wine and it’s fine because Jesus paid the price
his body broken and so we fix our eyes on him so that we don’t see
the broken bodies piling up outside our door.
Oh God or Goddess, Force, Universe, Fate– do you care
that your creation is tearing itself apart?
Do you have a heart?
Are you there?