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  • Patrick Wilcox

Summer of racial reckoning


No, we can do better -- That summer

was so much more -- Summer

of swelter -- Summer of sickness

and last ditch efforts -- Starving

young summer of lost music

notes -- Summer of notes stacked

on notes that became song -- Summer

of bullet and blood -- Staccato

summer of hope -- Summer of rally

and riot -- Hysterical summer

of hope unheard. Summer of song

and brick and glass -- Summer

of consumption -- Half-forgotten summer

of fire -- Unsung summer

we all watched the life leave a man

under the weight of a knee -- Brambled

summer of tear gas and midnight amber

we will name until we get name right.


Patrick Wilcox is from Independence, Missouri, a large suburb just outside Kansas City. He studied English and Creative writing at the University of Central Missouri where he also was an Assistant Editor for Pleiades and Editor-in-Chief of Arcade. He is a three-time recipient of the David Baker Award for Poetry and 2020 honorable mention of Ninth Letter’s Literary Award in Poetry. His work has appeared in Maudlin House, Quarter After Eight, Bangalore, and MacGuffin. He currently teaches English Language Arts at William Chrisman High School.

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