E. Ethelbert Miller



When there were cracks
in our sidewalks

children killed
each other for sneakers.

One neighbor
buried a son barefoot

a reminder of how
he came into the world.

We looked out windows
late at night

eyes catching white joggers
running like shooting stars.

We didn’t know
they were the first missionaries

announcing the end
to our sad world.



E. Ethelbert Miller is a literary activist. He is the board chairperson of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). He is a board member of The Writer’s Center and editor of Poet Lore magazine. His memoir Fathering Words was selected by DC WE READ in 2003 for the one book, one city program sponsored by the DC Public Libraries. In 2004, Miller was awarded a Fulbright to visit Israel. In 2007, he was awarded the Poets & Writers—Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers award.


Published in Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 2007.


To read more by this author:
E. Ethelbert Miller
Miller's Tribute to Sterling Brown: The Memorial Issue
E. Ethelbert Miller: The Wartime Issue
E. Ethelbert Miller: DC Places Issue
E. Ethelbert Miller on Ed Cox (Profiles Issue)

E. Ethelbert Miller: Split This Rock Issue
E. Ethelbert Miller: Langston Hughes Tribute Issue