By Anna Rene Greene Dell’Era
You didn´t have to cut him in pieces
You didn´t have to take a soul so young
You didn´t have to try and teach us
You didn´t have to take somebody´s son
Moroccan boy, tanned brown skin
Already when young
Trying to fit in
This town of Alsace
Province in France
Had a difficult time
Just givin´ him a chance
His eyes big and brown
Loaded with curiosity
are normal for a boy
finding his way.
As a child, he visited my home
with his Sisters and Mom
spit grape seeds on my floor
I told him, “No more!”
The director of the school
Mentioned that he was a problem child
“Find a way to help him
The system must not fail this time.”
I often saw him
Standing on the street
His eyes phased over with indifference
His soul put to sleep.
He told our daughter often
“If someone bothers you
Don´t cut them any slack
Just let me know
I gotcha back.”
The helicopters flew low
The noise sandwiched the dogs` barks
My man and I took a walk by the Rhein river
Stillness enveloped the parks.
A body was being searched
We were told
A chill flooded my spine
My temperature went cold.
Next day our daughter laid down the news
“They found the body, Mama
And you know it is.”
“It’s Walid”, she said.
Then a tug grasped my heart
I stood in shock
My jaws clamped ….locked.
When I finally found again my tongue
I reminisced about all the black bodies hung,
From the trees of Mississipppi and Alabama
And then I said “Damn, this ain´t nothing but
Lynching in this French provincial town!”
Walid´s body had been
But his bones would not disappear
So they chopped him in pieces
To discard of the fear.
The police discovered the evidence from Switzerland to France
Body parts in plastic garbage bags
A soul, murdered brutally,
will continue to dance.
Kembs village went silent
Tragedy by chance.
It took me three days
But I knew I had to go
Family of African descent
Morocco, blood still flows.
Majority Muslim by faith,
All gathered as family
Men in one room gathered chanting
Women heads bowed and covered, in another room, subtly grieving,
I, comforting the Mother,
Offered my plea
Raised my steadied voice to the heavens
Requested solace from Thee.
In spirit, lyrics were placed on my tongue
Souls seemed lifted as my notes to God, rung.
The father, in the other room, slowly
approached the women´s cocoon.
God´s song released his tears
Though Allah is his tune.
They didn´t have to chop him in pieces
They didn´t have to take a soul so young
They didn´t have to try and teach us
They didn´t have to take somebody´s son.
Anna Rene Greene Dell’Era
February 25, 2009
Walid Isohl, 21 year old Moroccan man, was murdered in Kembs, France in March 2008.
December 2010, the murderer of Walid, was granted his freedom.