American History

Those four black girls blown up
in that Alabama church
remind me of five hundred
middle passage blacks,
in a net, under water
in Charleston harbor
so redcoats wouldn't find them.
Can't find what you can't see
can you?

Michael S. Harper, "American History" from Songlines in Michaeltree: New and Collected Poems. Copyright © 2000 by Michael S. Harper. Reprinted with the permission of University of Illinois Press, www.press.uillinois.edu/poetry/poetry.html.
Source: Songlines in Michaeltree: New and Collected Poems (University of Illinois Press, 2000)
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