by Scott W. Williams
1. Poised Poised on one bare knee. Scratching a shiny skull. Begging words to remain in place settling under my heart. 2. Demonstration Demo Upon the policemen’s command, I reached to the top of my face Trying to smooth down the irritation And swapping it for a smile. Upon my entrance to the paddy wagon, I reached to the top of my face Trying to rub down that smile And replacing it with incredulity. Upon my entrance to court, I reached to the top of my face Trying to claw apart the incredulity And substituting it for hope. Upon my entrance to prison, I reached to the top of my face Trying to rip off that hope And exchanging it with danger Upon my entrance to freedom, I reached to the top of my face Trying to slap off that danger And restoring my smile. 3. No One Knew The Young Black Man 11. not the bored detail dragging their ash shovels through the dirt. 10. not the sleep-deprived executioner administering “pain relieving” drugs. 9. not the model inmate wheeling the squeaky cart of medical tools. 8. not the soon-to-be-divorced guard who blamed him for the murder of the inmate sitting behind the young man’s back. 7. not the jailers who doubled his wounds. 6. not the cross-judge discounting teachers praising his schoolwork and attitude. 5. not the toy-poodle carrying witness who saw only the shield’s baton. 4. not the shield ordering him to the ground, handcuffing him, kicking his books and clubbing his ribs. 3. not the woman who told the shields, he stole my boys’ money. 2. not the boys who used lunch money to buy smokes. 1. not the men from the garbage truck picking up cans he carried out for the aging super. No one knew him but his momma. She came out screaming and died from their bullets. The willow shading their favorite bench wept sap for the boy and mother. Scott W. Williams published poetry and short fiction can be found in Coffeehouse, Scryptic Magazine, Juniper Poetry, Punch Drunk Press, Oddball Magazine, Peach Mag, Mason Street Review, Owl Light Magazine, Le Mot Juste, three newspapers. He has chapbooks Bonvibre Haiku (CWP Press-2017) and Natural Shrinkage (Destitute Press-2018), and an anthology series, A Flash of Dark vol 1-3 (Writers Den-2018, 2019). He has co-hosted three different poetry series with, respectively, Max Stephan, Victoria Hunter and Stephen Lewandowski. Williams also created the websites, Mathematicians of the African Diaspora and African American History of Western New York. Since 1972, Williams has been a member of the Rochester Folk Art Guild where he was an Artist Blacksmith from 1972 to 1983. Dr. Scott W. Williams has a PhD from Lehigh University and is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at The University of Buffalo (1971-2013) from where he authored fifty research articles and lectured on his mathematics research on Five Continents.