Analysis of "Power" by Audre Lorde

1544 words 7 pages
The Use of “Power”

“They killed my son in cold blood,” lamented Eloise Armstead. Her husband, Add Armstead, was traveling to work with a companion on Saturday evening in the early 1970s. Thomas Shea and Walter Scott, responding to a call about a cabby that was robbed earlier that day, used this opportunity to rid the world of the wicked and gain a victory for the righteous. Walking along New York Blvd. in South Jamaica, Queens, Shea and his partner pulled alongside the two. Armstead says, as he recalls the incident, “We were walking, not saying anything to each other, and this car pulls up, and this white fella opens the door with a gun.” To him and his companion it looked like they were going to be robbed, so they ran. As the gunshots
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Lorde’s final allusion to justice for this travesty comes when she says “…trying to heal my dying son with kisses…” She then goes on to say “only the sun will bleach his bones quicker…” which could possible mean only justice would bring peace to the ones tormented by this tragedy.
The third stanza is where Lorde tells the readers about the murder of Clifford Glover. It begins with “a policeman who shot down a ten year old in Queens stood over the boy with his cop shoes in childish blood…” Notice the contrast between the blood in this stanza versus the blood in the previous stanza. Where before Lorde described the blood as something that was needed actually “thirsting for the wetness of his blood…,” here she describes it in an offhand manner, as “childish,” to show the reader the difference in the importance of the blood between the cop and her. This stanza also sees more punctuation in it than in any other stanza “…and there are tapes to prove it.” This makes the stanza pointedly clear that Lorde was disgusted with the events that unfolded. Also marked with punctuation is the fact Lorde lets the reader know that there are tapes to prove the officer’s guilt. This markedly raises the reader’s anger when reading the next stanza.
The acquittal of Officer Shea, a 13 year veteran of The Force, came as an outrageous shock to the community of minorities in the New York of the 70s. Police admitted that Shea, 36, a 13-year veteran,