The power of fear (a poem)

After Monday’s relative draught, I did a lot of writing yesterday. The subjects included Harpo Marx, vampires (not necessarily of the Dracula variety), and train travel. This poem is one of two I wrote about Anthony Hill, the young black man who was killed Monday afternoon by a police officer—despite the fact that Hill was not only unarmed, but unclothed. The opening of the poem comes from a quote appearing in one of the many news articles that have been written about the incident…

‘To be naked and unarmed and killed,
I don’t understand.’

What kind of imminent threat
does that present to a man?

Have empathy and compassion
gone completely out of fashion?

Or did the man lose all his nerve
to protect and to serve?

Why else would you shoot a gun
at a naked man on the run?

It has to be fear, right?
It must be fear—of course.

Power wielded in fear
is a dangerous force.

(10 March 2015—posted March 11)