Chant for a Klansman Outfit on Display:
Who Sewed Your Robe?

Who sewed your hallowed gown
that sheltered you from hood to foot—
did you require some wife
to acquiesce and stitch all night?

Or was it your own hands
that sewed those sleeves from sheets
with the stench of smoke that lingers,
will not leave?

Was that a sliver on your thumb,
festering from carting crosses in your truck?
But then, knotting braids of thick rope
can chafe on blisters, rub like hell.

When you tried on that matching hood,
squinting pig-eyed from its mask
did sweat slide down, glisten your cheek
and one drop hit your tongue?

So who sewed your robe, Klan Man?
No way can I walk by—
your residue comes through, still stains—
your ghost threads spiral, rise.


Dorothy Brooks

Image of Mask
        Ku Klux Klan robe, USA. Photo by Pearl
        Yee Wong, MSU Museum Collections.

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