POETRY
A Lullaby Against Violence
Selma, Fifty Years after Bloody Sunday
Deanna Paul
Writer of the Month

On Friday we are free
to think even the police didn’t dare shoot.
No need to hunch over or protect our hearts, Baby.
We both know. Better

to think even the police wouldn’t dare shoot
at men dancing in the street to “Black or White.”
We both know better:
beneath shadows like our skin, the truth is invisible. 

Men dance in the street. Black and White
film captures this moment to stand on our ground, sway and swing
beneath shadows, like our skin: the invisible truth.
We will not innocently avoid rage from that silver muzzle. 

Film captures this moment: stand our ground; or sway, swing
and be free of blood, our hands
are innocent. “Avoid rage from his silver muzzle,
fall with me to the gravel.”                    I grovel.

Never free from blood. Our Hands
Up. Clutch the sky. We
fall to the gravel and we grovel,
a triggered weapon forces us down. 

Up, clutching the sky, we are
brittle. This explosion leaves a lingering shush
from the triggered weapon. We’re forced down.
Houses the color of children's thoughts hide

a brittle explosion and leaves. Hush, a hush lingers.
We hunch over, protect our hearts. Baby,
hush. In children's thoughts, the color of houses, we hide, and
on Friday, we are free. 


Deanna Paul is a New York City prosecutor by way of Miami Beach, Florida, where she handles violent crimes against children and felony sex crimes. Deanna is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law and a member of the New York City Bar Association's Domestic Violence Committee. Not as quiet as she appears, Deanna plans to keep using her words and creating as best she can--she hopes to make a lot of noise in this world. 


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