Pennsylvania Death March

Marilyn Buck

[This poem is read on the CD by Merle Woo. MP3 of this poem]

Governor Ridge was inaugurated
in Pennsylvania
he promised
to expeditiously consign
the condemned to death

a morbid chill
keens within my bones
               Mumia must not die!

               Ajamu Nassor was executed
               in Indiana last December
               his comrade Ziyon Yisrayah
               awaits the gas chamber still.

to speak out
or standup
can be deadly

I have seen many die
who dared to stand up
Malcolm    Martin    Fred Hampton
               assassinated by agents and pawns
many others also
who spoke only by their existence
lynched by racist mobs
choked dead by cops
they arenít found in u.s. history books
yet their spirits also live
in furious condemnation

after living nearly 50 years
I still can not accept murder
constitutionally contrived
dispensed by government gas chambers
police artillery and air force bombers.

I have fantasies:
               ripping out electrical wires
               burying cyanide capsules
               denaturing death row designer drugs

here in prison
I feel death tremors
through concrete and steel
from East coast to West

donít you feel offended
that a woman or man would be
                                             by State decree?
               not by accident
                              not in an incident
                                             not in a war
in cold blood?

If not, why not?
What will you do?

                                                                          January 1995

* Ziyon Yisrayah was executed in the late Spring of 1997

poems © the authors
compilation © The Freedom Archives