Tulsa: “By repeated blows the oak is felled”

Furniture in street during the Tulsa Race Massacre (Alvin C. Krupnick, Library of Congress)

The children told us where to find you,
your charred, gun ridden, dressed in prom attire
black bodies
They told us where the white men dumped your
charred remains
In the city owned cemetery
in front of
the National Guard
Scarred children have good memories
quiet at first but always thinking; what do they think?
they tell,
the children told
believe them
They lived to be old
and before they left us
they told their children
who told their children
who made them uncover your graves
and now we stand watch in those places and
we count
your
bones

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Gay Palsey

Gay Palsey is a targeted progressive activist, social justice nurse, photographer, and writer who grew up in North Tulsa. Her most recent publications that regard The Tulsa Race War are a poem featured in the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition Commemorating the Centennial of the 1921 Race War and a self portrait series that depicts the Black resistance to the Greenwood Massacre in The UnVarnished Truth at Liggett Gallery .

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