gone in the homeland or never was

first published in Street Roots December 2004 issue

said the 10 o' clock reporter
'nother black person got themselves killed
'nother homicide in oakland
'nother story used to fill

the time between

latest dow jones report-
new diet-new medication-
new human interest short

'cause the very story after
stretched some two whole minutes long
'bout the white modesto woman
who is *inexplicably* gone
from a white suburban community
she has *mysteriously disappeared*
and while this seems to happen all the time
the story's prompts a fear
of a danger that looms near
to the audience who appears to
be closer to this modesto woman
than to the woman who lived 'round here
and it is made terribly clear
in this microcosmic sphere
that it is neither
tragic nor unexpected
when a black person disappears
in the homeland

- christina heatherton