Familiar Fruit

By: Yvens Alex Saintil

 

Original poem titled Bitter Fruit, written by Abel Meeropol and inspired by images of lynching. Strange Fruit, sung by Billie Holiday.

 

American trees bear a familiar fruit,

Dollars on the leaves and blood at the root,

Black and brown bodies no longer swinging in the southern breeze,

Scarcely, are familiar fruits hung from the popular trees.

Unless you live in Brunswick, Georgia.

Scattered pastoral scenes of school systems, felonies, and metal bars,

Dehumanization and voiceless mouths,

Scent of ink and cotton sweet and fresh,

Overflowing politician pockets.

Then the sudden cries of Black and brown mothers,

Here is fruit for white America to pick and choose,

For the police to arrest, for the prosecutor to withhold evidence,

For the judge to condemn, for the system to disappear,

Here is a familiar fruit.