January 19, 2015

Strange Fruit

by Abel Meeropol
Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

This poem about lynching was written only 78 years ago. You and I know people older than that. Unfortunately, lynchings are still happening. Just ask the mothers of Tamir Rice and Michael Brown.

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