The Bountiful Harvest

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The Bountiful Harvest

Southern trees that bore strange fruit have not gone away

The fight for justice is even more difficult now

though the fruit no longer hangs from a groaning bough

The voices of oppression are more cunning in what they say

The plantation has changed but the massa’s were here to stay

That, pulsing, bloody, strange fruit now rots in the streets tossed there by disdain

Leaving grieving mothers and brothers left to go on living through their immeasurable pain

All with a wink and a nod from those who bring in the harvest proclaiming this concrete garden is A-ok

the fruit that is not cast down is harvested all the same

swept up and shipped to pressure cookers run by evil men out to get paid

the community’s loss is corruption’s gain

processed and pulverized, the fruit is pressed into a most insidious marmalade

millions of bushels locked away

in darkness in barred cellars to rot

how can anyone say this is justice, because justice this is not

some trees were cut down and its wood sold off

to be milled into Batons wielded by police with a wink and a cough

Those seeds from Southern trees did not disappear,

those seeds on southern trees were spread across the land far and near

And those who know it is the nation’s shame

Are trying to say it is the fruit that is to blame

Speak the truth for all to hear, Try as I might and try as I will

For far too many, this place called home is a living hell

The strange fruit may not hang from trees anymore

But it’s blood at the hands of the law is daily being outpoured

~Mark A. Schmidt, 2016~

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