PUTTING MICE BEFORE MEN

On every channel I have seen them grieve
They are seethingly at odds with U.C. Berkeley
Apparently someone sought to uproot the trees
They are pissed/they are peeved/
They squawk about preserving the trees
They squat/they refuse to leave/
They literally live in the trees
Life or limb they vow to protect the trees
They seek understanding/empathy/
Meanwhile the State of California
Celebrates my wrongful conviction and intends to kill me!
From Death Row I languish in disbelief,
Wishing I was just as cherished and esteemed
As one of those damn oak trees!

On every channel I have seen them grieve
A blind man could see their hypocrisy;
For had “Cecil the Lion” been “Cecil the Negro”
His demise would not have been lionized!
In fact, he’d be just one more nappy headed
“Super predator,” that was “brought to heel…”

I have seen them grieve…
Amerikans wept over the death
Of Harambe, the silver-back gorilla,
But never did they weep for the likes of:
Trayvon Martin, Laquan McDonald, Alton Sterling,
Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Akai Gurley,
Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Michael Brown, Kenneth Harding,
Philando Castille, Alex Nieto, James Rivera, Mario Woods, or Tamir Rice!

For all of my days, I have seen them,
Endeavoring to be green and save nonhuman things:
The Whales
The Beaches
The Dolphins
The Wetlands and Marshes
The Owls
The Ozone
Even lab Rats and Rodents,
The Condors
The Eagles
And yes, the precious trees.

It is an unconscionable sin
Putting mice before men,
But many have I seen
Treating pets better than human beings;
And though they’re quick to pamper “fido”
They historically ignore the plight of the “negro!”

Am I worthy of the same affinity
That Monkeys, Mammals, and Reptiles receive?
Am I as precious
As the creatures that you grieve?
Hell, I love the environment, and everything in it,
But we cannot allow racism, corruption, injustice,
Or wrongful convictions to exist!

(c) Tim Young
This poem is included in the book, OVERTHROWING CAPITALISM, Volume 3: Reclaiming Community: An Anthology of Transformational Poets.

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