The situation in Ferguson has already stood to reemphasize a lot of underlying ugliness that our society is addicted to claiming conquered and buried in the past. I, like so many others, was particularly stricken by the "Season's Greetings" Reuters photo, as it captured an almost unbelievable metaphor in real life: the proven truth that our shepherds, the ones empowered to protect us, are increasingly capable of instead becoming the wolves at our throats with little to no consequence for doing so. The juxtaposition of holiday warmth and authoritarian wrath is one I can't see myself forgetting any time soon.
Tell me she won't forever mingle
the memory of Christmas with teargas.
Tell me that this will dissipate as quickly
as the plumes of Ferguson-sulfur
bottled a useless proof in her nose.
Tell me the night has not spoiled the taste
of Thanksgivings to come with this rotten egg
made to incubate on the back of her tongue,
because here, at Florrisant and Paul,
there's no parsing smoke from the crimson-lit tinsel
strewn a suture over the street.
The season breathes its jingles
under a staccato of glass and teeth, a smolder
of blood too often bruised beneath the skin
to withstand another strike without bleeding,
and I wonder if the holiday will ever be peace to her.
If season's greetings will ever again unfurl itself
without this predatory snarl, this affront
of all its Nativitous star once illumined,
announcing a sleeping king to shepherdswho knew better than to eat their sheep.