Poem for Mumia Abu-Jamal

and a businessman, William Singletary
VietNam vet, black
claims to have seen the cop go down

pop-pop, two shots at close range
Lays the gun under the VW Bug
pulled over, this the passenger, a third man
not Mumia, runs east down Locust Street

Faulkner’s on the ground, the cop,
when Mumia arrives and bends over him
and Singletary sees
the flash, the cop’s pistol, Mumia
hit in the chest slumps
against the car, to the ground
Plainshirt cops come to beat him, take him
to the station to die

Take Singletary too
to hear the story

And a prostitute heard the shots, Veronica Jones
turned in time to see two men run away
Two men not Mumia running from two bodies
She’d “never seen that before”

And Debbie Kordansky saw from her window
on 13th Street but she changed her story
she “couldn’t remember” she “never really saw”

They all changed their stories
Hightower, White, the witnesses all told
the cops’ story

except Singletary, he doesn’t take
the deal
What to lose?

Published by pedalpoet

Poet, writer, and songwriter living in Seattle, WA

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