Friday, December 5, 2014

Poem of the Week: Kelli Stevens Kane

bitter crop 

blueberry blackberry as always
bleeding, back road or boulevard,
our boy crowned with baton,
breathing, barely, if you
believe the breeze is just 
air blowing through branches

above the fruited plain

have a seat. when our baby left
we believed he'd come back
in his body. we believed
youngberries grew
into elderberries. but now,
when the wind blows
against your necks, know it's him,
you feel him now that he's up

above the fruited plain

don't you? I hate pavement, I hate summer,
I hate yellow tape, I hate chokeberry,
pokeberry, the way it'll always be too late
to comfort him. the way I'll never dare to say
I hate you back
to our strange America that only protects the few

above the fruited plain

              -for Michael Brown and  


Used with permission.
 reads her poem in solidarity with BlackPoetsSpeakOut


Kelli Stevens Kane is a poet, playwright, and oral historian based in Pittsburgh, PA. She's a Cave Canem Fellow, an August Wilson Center Fellow, and a Flight School Fellow, and has twice received Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh grants from The Pittsburgh Foundation. She's studied at VONA, Hurston/Wright, and Callaloo. She reads her poetry and oral history, and performs her one woman show, BIG GEORGE, nationally. For more information, please visit and

"bitter crop" is the first Poem of the Week from our virtual open mic, to appear on this blog, for Poems that Resist Police Brutality and Demand Racial Justice. All poems submitted for the virtual open mic will published on this blog, some will be chosen as Poem of the Week. 


Please feel free to share Split This Rock Poem of the Week widely. We just ask you to include all of the information in this post, including this request. Thanks! 

If you are interested in reading past poems of the week, feel free to visit the blog archive.  


Hotep said...

Thank you so much for this moving piece of history. The Nowstory.

Unknown said...

So moving. Thank you for sharing.