I’d seen them before, the tall pointed hoods
with slits for the eyes, the phalanxes marching –
but that was Spain, all colour and ceremony,
flower-decked Madonnas shuffled along
on huge wooden platforms, the funereal drumbeat,
Christ burdened by the weight of his cross.
This was elsewhere. White-robed, white-hooded,
they triumphed in the street at being given back
the hate they’d had to mask. Behind them I saw
the fiery cross, the noose tied to a tree, the dragging
feet, the terrified faces. I saw the righteousness
that knew nothing beyond white and black.