They Came Marching: Charlottesville

They came marching,
heels clicking perfectly
in step with the most shameful shadows of history
while disbelievingly,
we watched
and were awakened
to a rank and
wretched evil,
a cabal of hell. 

They came brandishing torches,
marshaling the vilest of forces,
their faces contorted
with sordid
fear cast in the flickering fire
they held in hand
and eyes
and hearts.

I could not comprehend
how I was witnessing these men
in my own time
and not in one resigned
to archaic and tedious tomes
and black and white photos.

But no,
these scenes blaze
with beet-red bigotry,
with white-hot hatred and insanity,
with blue-flamed depravity,
all under the tri-color banner
before which we cover our hearts and laud,
One nation, under God.

Again, don't scenes like these
belong to other chronologies,
back when we
were less enlightened,
more frightened
by bogeymen,
superstitions,
and folklore fictions?

And... by the color of other skins? 

Yet these scenes
confront us upon the glowing screens
of the little machines
we hold in our hands.
They are not estranged
by grain,
or glossing
and monochrome processing.

We cannot dissociate
due to a veneer of black and white,
for black versus white
is still a fight, and even bigger and broader now than then.
Really, it always has been.

Because our world has always been willing
to accommodate hate,
a manifold spate
of vitriol
toward any and all
manner of men and women.
Black, brown, and every other color is ground in
to the soil of which we were once formed
and then adorned
with His image.

Color and hue,
heritage and views,
beliefs and religion,
sexual identification,
and gender
continue to render
us as something less than human,
the targets of the most craven havens
of hate, slander,
murder, and all manner
of reprehensible
and untenable
confederals.

So I will march,
in step with the God who trod this earth,
giving birth to the flame of hope.
For love—
that eternal torch—
can surely forge
a way through the scourge
of evil.

I don't yet know the way,
but I'll follow,
trusting this:
there will be a day
when the hate-filled hollows
of those mouths that stretch wide like open graves
will reckon with a God who blazes
with Love and also with Justice.